In 1810, only 10 workers forged rolled steel in the mill in Sous-Cratet, but its successes quickly led the Peugeot company to develop bigger structures: a factory in Valentigney by 1827, another in Hérimoncourt a few years later, then in Beaulieu, Pont-de-Roide, and Audincourt… At the end of the XIXth century, the “lion brand” employed nearly 3,000 people, mainly in its bicycle and tool branches.
Tools, household items, and then automobiles were first manufactured in small quantities, even by piece. However, to satisfy ever greater demand, automakers gradually adopted American methods: Les Cycles Peugeot began serial production of the Grand Bi in 1882, and in 1919 the Citroën Torpédo 10 HP became the first European model produced according to the theories of Henry Ford. After this rationalization phase came the automation phase: robotization took on an important role, handling the most repetitive operations.
Today, manufacturing an automobile begins with the stamping phase, in which presses are used to turn steel into parts of the vehicle’s body.
Then comes iron plating and the birth of the “body in white” (metallic skeleton of the car). In the past, these parts were screwed onto a wooden framework. Now they’re assembled by solder or glue, and 90% of operations are carried out by robots.
Next, the body is submerged in an electrolytic bath to protect it against corrosion. Mastic is used to waterproof it, and then the colored bases and varnish are applied, depending on the customer’s choices.
The painted bodies then move through the assembly lines to be fitted with all the finishings as well as the mechanical parts. These parts were previously manufactured in the forges and mills, then tooled and assembled.
Finally, vehicles are tested at the end of the line, before delivery to the customer
Terrot motorcyle catalogue – 1931
A legendary manufacturer of bicycles then motorcycles, the Dijon company founded by Charles Terrot in 1887 jointed the Peugeot Group in 1958.
This 1931 catalogue shows us the wide range of motorcycles, but also the extent of the brand’s technological know-how, from the single-cylinder 2-stroke 175 cc to the “V” twin-cylinder 4-stroke 680 cc.
Advertising poster – 1930
Put into service in 1899 under the impetus of Armand Peugeot, the Lille factory specialized in manufacturing and commercializing diesel engines. In 1928 it became the Compagnie Lilloise de Moteurs.
Now, diesel engines are manufactured the SMAE (Société Mécanique des Automobiles de l’Est) in Trémery near Metz and by the Française de Mécanique in Douvrin, in northern France.
Production site in Vigo (Spain)
As part of its globalization, the Group has opened up to the world by creating assembly and production units in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
This factory, installed in Galicia in 1958, now produces 400,000 vehicles a year, making it the Group’s largest site abroad.
Workers exit the Audincourt factory – 1906
In 1897, one year after Armand founded the Société des Automobiles Peugeot, construction was completed on the Audincourt factory, and the first cars left the workshops.
Quickly dubbed “the auto factory”, it also produced coffee grinders and tools. More than a century after its creation, it still makes auto components under the name Faurecia, a subsidiary of PSA Peugeot Citroën.
Simca vehicles being transported by truck – 1955
The transport of vehicles from factories to the various points of sale is a strategic activity which the Group actively developed by creating a transport and logistics company in 1949 – GEFCO (Groupages de l’Est et de Franche-Comté).
This subsidiary, now present internationally, transports 3.2 million cars a year.