May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on January 29, 2019

Peugeot LogoBrief History About Peugeot

Peugeot was founded 1810 in France, although the family was in business long before this. The company originally owned a coffee mill, which then got transformed into a steel works, which they used to make parts for other industries and also for the manufacture of bicycles. In 1858 they built a 3 wheeled stream car, followed by an internal combustion car using a Daimler engine in 1890.

In 1894 they entered what is considered by many as the first motor race, the Paris–Rouen and came 2nd after a steam powered vehicle, but beat all other petrol powered vehicles that entered.

In 1896 Peugeot started to build their own engines and Armand Peugeot then started Automobiles Peugeot, followed in 1897 with the setup of a factory dedicated to automobiles only, which included adding the production of motorcycles in 1903.

In 1905 Les Fils de Peugeot Frères also set up his own automotive company, which by 1910 is then merged with Automobiles Peugeot, followed by all other automotive related Peugeot companies in 1912 to create France’s largest industrial site located in Sochaux. They also entered and won the French Grand Prix that same year in 1912.

During the early part of the 20th century Peugeot continued to grow and develop their cars. However during WW2 the factories were forced to work for the German war effort.

After WW2 Peugeot resumed car production and even employed the help of Pininfarina to help style their cars from the 1950’s.

During the 60’s Peugeot had much success in various rally racing events.

In 1974 Peugeot buys 30% of Citroen and then takes full control in 1975 creating the PSA (Peugeot Société Anonyme).

In 1978 they also bought Chrysler/Talbot/Simca.

In 1983 Peugeot released the 205 to much acclaim and is now one of their all time best selling cars, with the GTi becoming a much sort after car by the enthusiasts. In motorsport, a turbocharged 205 had great success with the WRC and Dakar races during the 80’s. They also released a very good video of the 1988 Pikes Peak unlimited class winning car, the turbocharged Peugeot 405 Turbo-16.

During the 90’s sales in Europe were strong, however sales did struggle elsewhere.

The 90’s and new millennium was a busy time in motorsport for Peugeot, with the 406 competing in touring car races, race cars being entered into endurance races, supplying engines to Formula One teams and a returned to Rally racing in 1999, first with the 206 WRC, which did rather well, then with the 307 WRC in 2004, but with much less success, with Peugeot dropping out of the WRC in 2005.

The start to the new millennium didn’t go to plan however, with sales targets lower than expected, which therefore prompted them to target other areas such as, China, Russia, South America, and India.

In 2014 the Peugeot family gave up full control of the company by reducing their shares and now share control with 2 other equal partners.

Peugeot 205 GTi
205 GTi 1983-1994

Peugeot 309 GTi
309 GTi 1987-1993

Peugeot 405 Mi16
405 Mi16 1988-1995

Peugeot 306 GTi-6
306 GTi-6 1996-2000

Peugeot RCZ
RCZ 2010-2015

Peugeot 308 GTi
308 GTi/GT 2010-2013 & 2015 on

Peugeot 208 GTi
208 GTi 2013 on