Peugeot 201

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Peugeot 201
Peugeot 201 1930 04.JPG
ManufacturerPeugeot SA
142,309 units
Body and chassis
Body style4-door saloon
other bodies available
LayoutFR layout
Engine1085 cc - 1465cc
straight four
Wheelbase247 cm (97.2 in)
Length3,800 mm (149.6 in)
Width1,350 mm (53.1 in)
Curb weight890 kg (1,962 lb)
PredecessorPeugeot Type 190
SuccessorPeugeot 202
The 201 was typical of many western European family saloons in that during the 1930s the standard body was redesigned to incorporate new ideas about streamlining.

The Peugeot 201 is a car produced by Peugeot between 1929 and 1937.

The car was manufactured at the company's Sochaux plant near the Swiss frontier, and is today celebrated in the adjacent Peugeot museum. Although Peugeot had produced a petrol/gasoline-powered motor vehicle as early as 1886, the Peugeot 201 may reasonably be seen as the company's first mass-produced model.[1]


The Peugeot 201 was presented at the 1929 Paris Motor Show with the backdrop of the Wall Street Crash. While many European manufacturers did not survive the ensuing depression, the 201's image as an inexpensive car helped Peugeot to survive the economic crisis with its finances intact and its status as a major auto producer confirmed.[2]


During the 1930s Peugeot offered several variants of the 201, with increasing engine capacity.

Initially, it was powered by a 1122 cc engine developing 23 horsepower (17 kW) at 3500 rpm (top speed: 80 km/h / 50 mph). This was followed by an engine of 1307 cc, and finally a 1465 cc unit of 35 hp (26 kW).

The Peugeot 201C, launched in 1931, is claimed[by whom?] to be the first mass-produced car equipped with independent front suspension, a concept rapidly adopted by the competition. The simpler beam front axle version remained available, but the independent suspension system reportedly improved road holding and reduced steering column vibration.[citation needed]


In the early twentieth century, car manufacturers paid little attention to the naming of their vehicles. The 201's predecessor, the Type 190, is so named because it was the 190th distinct design developed by Peugeot. However, at the time few customers would have been aware of the name "Type 190". Even in the company's own brochures, the car now known as the Type 190 was simply called "La 5CV Peugeot" (The Peugeot 5 hp).

For Peugeot, a new naming scheme was introduced when the Type 190 was replaced by Peugeot 201.[3] The 201 was the first Peugeot to carry a name comprising three numerals with a central zero, a naming scheme continued with the 301 and 401. Peugeot took effective steps to protect all such automobile names, to the discomfiture of Porsche in the 1960s as they prepared to launch their iconic new 901 model. Curiously, the name of the Ferrari 308 was not a problem.[citation needed]

Light commercials[edit]

Between 1931 and 1933 the company produced 1,676 commercial versions of the 201, aimed at small shopkeepers and other businessmen. A wide range of body types was produced including a flatbed truck, a "bakers' van" and light vans with and without side windows behind the B-pillar.

During the early 1930s panel van and light truck versions of the Peugeot 201 were also produced.


  1. ^ "1929 : 201". Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  2. ^ "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1932 (salon [Paris, Oct] 1931): Comme tous constructeurs français, Peugeot souffre de la dépression économique mondiale et ses cadences de production s’effondrent. [...] Malgré ce ralentissement sensible de son activité en 1932, Peugeot traverse la crise sans trop de dommages grâce à la 201 dont le caractère économique devient un argument déterminant dans cette période difficile. Paris: Histoire & collections. Nr. 80s: Page 74. 2006.
  3. ^ Musée de l'Aventure Peugeot. The exhibit label (2012) states: « Jusqu'à présente le modèles Peugeot se suivaient dans une numérotation plus ou moins logique qui d’ailleurs n’était que peu utilise par la publicité. Par exemple le 190 S était présenté dans les brochures sous le nom « Le 5 CV Peugeot ». Avec la 201 une ère novelle commence.»
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