Peugeot is a loved car brand in the Middle East, but there are a lot of interesting facts and secrets that the average car lover doesn’t know about the brand.
So, sit back, buckle up, and prepare to learn more about one of the most loved car brands: Peugeot ME.
1: BUGATTI AND PEUGEOT TEAMED UP IN THE 20TH CENTURY
It’s hard to ever imagine two big wigs in the car industry teaming up to create a design for one of their companies. But it happened.
In the early 1900s, Armand Peugeot, creator of the brand, was desperate to create, manufacture, and sell cars that were affordable for the public. Cars were gaining popularity, but many feared they wouldn’t be able to afford them.
Peugeot asked for assistance in designing the affordable car from Ettore Bugatti, son of Carlo Bugatti, a famed furniture and jewelry designer of the time. It seems that many in the Bugatti family were artists or designers, including Ettore’s younger brother, Rembrandt, who sculpted animals, and his uncle Giovanni Segantini, who was a painter.
Ettore followed in their footsteps and created a prototype of his car design, which was entered into the Milan Trade Fair and won it in the Spring of 1901. Ettore’s design was noticed by Peugeot, and the company invited him to create a simple and reliable vehicle design for commercial sale.
The “people’s car,” also known as the Peugeot Bébé, was released in 1905 and was one of the best-selling vehicles in France at the time.
Later, in 1909, Bugatti developed his first vehicle. So, it could be safe to assume that the Bugatti name may not be as recognizable if it wasn’t for Armand Peugeot and the work Bugatti did for him in the early 20th century.
2: FROM COFFEE MILL TO AUTOMOBILE
While much of the history of the Peugeot company follows Armand Peugeot, who was in control of the company in the 1900s, the brand actually has much humbler beginnings.
In 1810, Jean-Pierre Peugeot and Jean-Frédéric Peugeot decided to convert the family business, a coffee mill, into a small factory where they could begin producing steel springs. The coffee business was lucrative, with the Peugeot family being one of the most famous coffee mills in France.
However, sometimes you have to give up what earns you money for something new. The steel foundry continued, to make coffee-related items, including the grinding burrs that eventually ended up in the Peugeot personal coffee mills produced in 1840.
Eventually, Armand began producing hi-wheeler bicycles in the late 1800s, and eventually produced the first steam-powered tricycles in 1889, although only four were made.
Thanks to convincing from Gottlieb Daimler and Émile Levassor, Armand was sure of entering the car market. It was then when he worked with Bugatti and later helped out in the war by providing cars that could withstand battle, which you’ll learn more about later.
3: THE FIRST PEUGEOT WAS A THREE-WHEELED WONDER
When you think of vehicles today, you likely picture a vehicle with at least four wheels. But, it turns out, the first Peugeot only had three wheels!
The first Peugeot, created in 1889 and designed by Léon Serpollet, was steam powered. Serpollet was well known in the French community, thanks to his steam powered automobile design and his steam tram design. The vehicle, like most other steam-powered vehicles of the time, took a while to warm up, so you couldn’t actually hop in it and hit the road like you can with cars today.
The three wheels were short lived and abandoned not long after Serpollet’s design was produced. Only a year later, the four-wheeled car was created, and use of a petrol engine became commonplace.
Although the three-wheeled wonder was short-lived, it’s designer certainly made a huge impact on the history of the automobile.
4: RECOVERING QUICKLY AFTER A DEVASTATING WAR
War often ravages local countries and businesses and, thanks to the old history associated with the Peugeot brand, it is obvious that Peugeot was around during the time of the First and Second World Wars.
But Peugeot was different, and for a unique reason. Instead of producing cars for the public during the war, Peugeot actually turned into an arms and military vehicle manufacturer. This meant that the company created armored cars and bicycles as well as ammunition shells.
The company actually used some of their designs as the inspiration for their military vehicles. For example, a commercial Peugeot truck design was transformed into a four-wheeled armored vehicle in 1914.
The truck included a turret mounted to the top of the vehicle containing a 37mm gin, which provided a pretty great fire power for the time. Mostly, however, Peugeot designed the vehicles for speeds, so they could easily counter and maneuver around advances from Germany.
Thanks to the company’s service in the time of war, they were able to quickly recover and continue with the creation of commercial vehicles not long after both of the wars ended. After the Second World War, the 202, which was a pre-war design, continued in production, and the Peugeot 203 was designed shortly after in 1947.
5: PEUGEOT IS EVERYWHERE!
You may think that Peugeot is limited to just the Middle East and European counties, but that’s not true!
Peugeot is currently being represented in more than 150 countries. In the Americas, Peugeot reaches Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivie, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, and Mexico.
The brand can also be found in African countries including Eqypt, Mayotte, and Ghana; in the Neverlands, Denmark, and Greece; and, of course, in the Middle East, Korea, and China. Of course, these are just a few of the several places you can find the brand represented.
As you can see, you can get a Peugeot vehicle in a lot of countries around the world, making Peugeot a recognizable household name!