Peugeot is the surname of a rather prominent French family that had established a foothold in the textile and bicycle industry by the middle part of the 19th century. With the advent of the then-novel concept for the automobile, a family member by the name of Armand Peugeot began to take a keen interest in this new technology. He formed the company Peugeot in 1896 and the name has remained the same ever since this time.
One of the lesser-known facts regarding Peugeot is that this company was one of the first true innovators in the automotive industry. For example, Peugeot developed the concept for the steering wheel, the transmission and pneumatic (air-filled) tyres. Such models as their 1912 Grand Prix vehicle quickly caught the attention of the public and unlike many other European manufacturers, Peugeot was not affected nearly as much by the depression of the 1930s as were many of its rivals.
After the cessation of the Second World War, Peugeot reemerged as one of the few companies that was left relatively unscathed both financially and physically. As the burgeoning market of Europe once again demanded economy vehicles, Peugeot was there to accommodate such needs.
The 1980s and the 1990s saw a continued and pronounced expansion of this line of vehicles with the introduction of such models as the 206, 207, 307 and the 407. However, sales began to suffer during the early part of the 21st century due to the massive amount of competition from Japanese and Korean companies.