If you ask most people around you, their father’s first car was either a Peugeot 504 or 505. From 1968 to 1983, the Peugeot 504 was manufactured and marketed over a single generation. Known for its robust body structure and durability, the 504 quickly became popular in rough-terrain countries including Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Benin, Kenya and Nigeria.
The Peugeot which has been manufactured for over 50 years is a signature car brand, today, classic models like the used 504 cost 250,000 Naira while latest models like the 5008 SUV cost over 12 Million Naira. Think you know everything about Africa’s Workhorse, here are five facts about Peugeot you’ve never heard of.
Peugeot Company used to be a Coffee Mill
When the company started, it didn’t make cars. The company was originally founded as a coffee mill in 1810. French brothers Jean Pierre and Jean-Pierre II converted their father’s old grain mill into a steel foundry, producing items ranging from coffee grinders, saw blades, chisels, wire wheels, bicycles, salt and pepper grinders, springs and saws to even umbrella frames.
The Company prides itself on Safety
Peugeot company places a high premium on safety. For example, their 308 model has a system, known as Lane Departure Warning System, which cautions drivers of any unintended lane departures. The 308 includes other features such as an Electronic Brake Force Distribution system, a brake assist system, for added safety. In 2009, the Peugeot 308 Turbo was awarded the Overall Car of the Year award.
World War 1 was fueled by Peugeot
During World War 1, Peugeot was one of the main manufacturers of arms, bicycles, military tanks and shells. They had to take a break from making cars, after the war, they got back to making cars.
The First Peugeot Car came with three wheels
It was towards the end of the 19th century in 1886 that Peugeot came out with their first automobile. This car was a steam-operated vehicle that had three wheels. Only four cars of this type were made. Due to the heaviness of the steam-power engine, warming up the car was a long process. This led to drastic improvements which were made with the company’s first 4-wheeled vehicle, driven by petrol, which came out in 1890.
First Car Ever Stolen was a Peugeot
The very first stolen automobile in history was a Peugeot car. The car theft occurred in Paris, France, in June 1896, when Baron de Zuylen’s Peugeot was stolen by his Mechanic from the manufacturers where it was undergoing repairs. Fortunately both the thief and the car were found later at the nearby town of Asnieres. Interesting part is that no one viewed cars as a valuable merchandise worth stealing until Peugeot cars were made.