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French Car Manufacturers

Wendy moved to France in 2005, where she fell in love with everything French.

Manufacturers of French vehicles

Manufacturers of French vehicles

The French Automotive Industry: French Car Companies

The Paris region is one of the few French regions able to boast at least two major world-class automobile manufacturers, Renault and PSA.

Since 1903, the French automotive industry has led the world with over 30,000 vehicles produced by over 30 manufacturers. Although in the past few years the country might have been left with only two major manufacturers, France’s automobile industry remains a world leader. Renault-Nissan is the world’s number 4 manufacturer, while PSA Peugeot-Citroen is number 8.

The French automotive industry in figures:

  • 3 out of every 4 vehicles manufactured by the two French groups are sold outside France.
  • 23% of all vehicles sold in the European Community are French.
  • 10% of the working population work directly or indirectly for the automobile industry.

French Car Makers: The Automotive Industry in Paris

The Champs Elysées, a section of Paris that extends from the Louvre Pyramid to La Défense, an obligatory passage for patriotic parades has been a fashionable place to walk since the late 1800s. These days you can find anything along the Champs Elysées: films, haute couture, high street fashion, restaurants, fresh vegetables, perfumes and even racing cars!

From the early 1900s, the Champs Elysees was conquered by the automobile and very soon it became the favourite showroom stage. In 1910, Louis Renault was the first to install his showroom there. The Champs Elysees might be one of the world’s most expensive avenues in terms of commercial real estate, but the world’s car automotive leaders have no hesitation in paying top rates for a showroom here. It is argued that the Champs Elysees attracts 80 million people every year. For this reason, the showrooms are not simple sales outlets; they are prestigious addresses used to meet and host events; millions are spent on famous architects and interior designers to create comfortable and luxurious environments.

Some of the best-known addresses are Renault at number 53, Citroen at number 42, Peugeot at 136, Mercedes at 118 and Toyota at number 79.

Citroen Magazine, Champs Elysees, Paris


The Importance of Paris In the Global Automotive Industry

The major role played by the Paris region in the global automotive industry is underlined by the fact that the entire world’s leading equipment manufacturers are located here, near the decision making centres of PSA and Renault.

For example:

  • The German Bosch group (the world’s number 1) is based in the Paris region of Saint-Ouen,
  • The American Delphi (the world’s number 2) is based at Roissy –Paris.
  • Also, the Japanese Denso (the world’s number 3) shares the Paris region at Levallois as its main location.

French Cars

Citroen Nemo

Citroen Nemo

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Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308

French Car Company: PSA Peugeot Citroën in Figures

PSA Peugeot Citroen is a Group with 200 years of industrial history and strong roots in France contributing €4.5 billion to France’s trade balance.

Automotive production is the core business of PSA Peugeot Citroën. Nearly 85,000 men and women work in 17 production centres

  • In 2008, PSA Peugeot Citroën's production sites manufactured 3,322,600 vehicles.
  • In 2008, 1 904 000 vehicles (vehicles and CKDs) were sold in the world by Peugeot.
  • Citroën sold, in 2008, 1,356,000 vehicles (vehicles and CKDs). The Citroën C5 has exceeded its sales objectives, in a segment under pressure.
  • Thanks to the launching of the Citroën Nemo and Peugeot Bipper, the Group PSA has strengthened its leadership in Western Europe growing its market share by 1.3 points to reach 19.9%
  • PSA Peugeot Citroën holds on to a global market share of 5% in 2008, standing firm in strongly falling markets.
  • Some 13,000 vehicles are produced every day by the Group's plants, along with 11,000 engines and 12 500 gearboxes.
  • In 2008, PSA Peugeot Citroën continued its expansion in South America, slightly increasing its market share to 5.5%.
  • In 2009, Peugeot will make substantial steps to expand market coverage with the new 308 CC, its first crossover (the 3008) and its first compact MPV.
  • In 2013 The number of automobiles built by the Group in France was 919,900 vehicles.
  • Peugeot Citroen offers a "made in France" guarantee for fifteen of its vehicles guaranteeing them as built in France.
  • In 2012, PSA Peugeot Citroën was the European leader in fuel-efficient cars, with the market’s lowest CO2 emissions.

PSA Peugeot Citroen in Numbers


French Cars: The Renault Vel Satis

Brad Pitt at the Cannes Film Festival coming out of a Renault Vel Satis

Brad Pitt at the Cannes Film Festival coming out of a Renault Vel Satis

French President Nicolas Sarkozy in his Vel Satis

French President Nicolas Sarkozy in his Vel Satis

Presidential Renault Vel Satis

Presidential Renault Vel Satis

2001 Renault Vel Satis Promotional Video

Renault in James Bond film

Renault Formula 1

For more than 30 years, Renault and F1 have been pursuing a shared aim: to push back the limits of sport and technology and in 2008 the ING Renault F1 Team finished the World Championship in fourth position. Now it's time for an amazing 2009 season with a new Renault Formula 1 and an experienced team of pilots, Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr.

Peugeot 208 GTi vs Renault Clio 200

Peugeot 208 GTi vs Renault Clio 200

The 208 GTi weighs in at £18,895, that includes cruise control, parking sensors and climate control. The Renault is £100 more in basic form, and misses out on the leather trim, but does deliver satellite navigation as standard.

French car makers in Paris:

Paris EQUIP AUTO 2015

EQUIP AUTO is an international exhibition of vehicle equipment and services which this year will take place during five days, from 13th to 17th October 2015 at the Parc des Expositions, Paris-Nord Villepinte.

EQUIP AUTO 2015 aims to unite international players in the after-sales industry for all vehicles, and present a comprehensive offer from upstream to downstream.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Wendy Iturrizaga

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