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French car brand Peugeot is now part of PGA Peugeot Citroen. Peugeots roots are in bicycle manufacturing, and those roots go back to the end of the 1800s. The first Peugeot car was built in 1889, and was a steam-powered vehicle. The first car of the brand produced with an internal combustion engine was built in 1890, and had a Daimler engine and four wheels, unlike its three-wheeled steam-powered car previously mentioned.
In 1892 Peugeot built cars that first utilised rubber tires, and in 1896, the brand was no longer relying on Daimler engines, as it had built its own, and comparisons to the way the modern car would look are justified, as the placement of the steering wheel was in a more natural place at the front of the car.
The early 1900s were interesting years for Peugeot. In 1903, the brand added a motorcycle to its name, and in 1913, a Peugeot car won the Indianapolis 500. Peugeot cars also won at Indianapolis in 1916, and 1919, and in 1914, Peugeot produced half of the cars built within France. In the years of WWI, Peugeot became a major dealer in arms and military vehicles, and after the war, the car and cycle divisions of Peugeot split, heralding the creation of Cycles Peugeot, which primarily dealt with bicycles and motorcycles.
1929, the first year of the Great Depression, was an interesting one for Peugeot, as it created the 201 that year. This started the continued tradition of Peugeot cars to bear a name consisting of three numbers with a zero in the middle slot. The 201 was the first mass-produced automobile with an independent front suspension. The history of the 201 and its sales was altered by the Depression, but Peugeot survived, and in 1933 Peugeot created a new range of cars that introduced a more stylish, aerodynamic look.
WWII brought much change to Peugeot, as its factories were taken over to produce trucks and vans for the German war effort. These factories were damaged in the war by numerous bombings. After the war ended, Peugeot created the 203 in 1948, and continued to grow. By 1958 Peugeot cars were sold in the United States.
Peugeot purchased a stake in Citroen in 1973, and took the company over in 1976. Along the way to this event, Peugeot worked extensively with both Renault and Volvo. In the 1980s, Peugeot took over Chrysler Europe, and certain Chrysler models were renamed/rebranded Talbots for sale in Europe. The Talbot brand lasted until 1986, when it was killed off, though the Talbot name adorned certain cars until 1992, when it was killed off completely.
Among the most popular Peugeot car is the 205, which was produced in 1983. This success is credited with turning Peugeots fortunes around at a time where their success was faltering. However, in 1991, based on extremely low sales of both the 405 and 505 models in 1990, Peugeot was forced to exit the American market that it had contributed to for 33 years.
The main offices for PGA Peugeot Citroen are located in Paris, France.