French Car Manufacturers

Updated on April 12, 2019
Princessa profile image

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

French Car Makers Located in Paris

PSA Paris
PSA Paris
Atelier Renault, Champs Elyses (Paris)
Atelier Renault, Champs Elyses (Paris)

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
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.

Do you drive:

See results

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:

Champs elysees 53:
53 Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France

get directions

Renault at number 53

Champs elysees 42:
42 Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France

get directions

Citroen at number 42

Extreme Rally Experience 2012 Peugeot

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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    • profile image 

      3 months ago RAJESH RANA


      +91 9825041633


      Background of the development:

      Automobile 4 stroke engines are very inefficient and are working @25-35 % efficiency. It is wasting fuels and incurring more cost for its propulsion. A need for efficient engine for this industry is from years. This rotary engine is in demand since the inception of engine in 19th century. Many trials and models were made to work for its better efficiency. › wiki › Wankel_engine :

      It is the source of my Inspiration to develop New type of piston less engine. Certain drawback of this engine was seriously thought of and efforts were made to overcome these drawbacks.

      • Eccentric movement of shaft in an inward gear to produce eccentric of shaft.

      • Wear out of Seals very frequently leads to in efficiency of engine.

      These draw back were overcome by using rollers in this new design engine.

      Reciprocating of piston and connecting rod is eliminated and the loss of power for this is now utilized in power output. Hence efficiency is improved.

      Customer's profile:

      The users of this new design are all car manufacturers. Though all manufacturers are concentrating their action to electric vehicle, even though the battery cost and recharging of battery is a problematic.

      I have developed an Efficient engines (say for car 40 km/ltr.) will definitely be helpful in using available resources. Hence productionising of highly efficient engine is still viable comparing the cost factor of electric vehicle.

      Long and short term Corporate Objectives:

      On successful trial of conceptual proto model engine made by me, design will be patented and the technology will be transferred to the Interested Automobile manufacturers to develop production model in India or abroad for proving its efficiency. On successful trial, It will be a miracle in Auto Industry and India will have leading role.

      Market Strategy:

      All car manufacturer such as TATA, MERCIDIES, HONDA, HUNDAI, FORD, Folks wagon, MARUTI and many more will be Interested in this rotary version of engine.

      A new Hub for engine Manufacturing will be created in India. It will generate number of opportunities and work employment for learned as well as labor in concern.

      Definitely there will be a large market for efficient engine that reduce pollution and better on costly affairs of electric vehicle.

      Indian Production will definitely have low cost and highly reliable product.

      Financial Assessment

      It is pre mature to comment on financial needs. Investment expenditure and value of the entire project will depend on the product demand and support by different manufacturers.

      I ensure the demand will be tremendous and will be inspired to all manufacturers for Investment in India.

      The entire business sector will be boost by favorable Policies by Government of India.

      The details are envisaged as below in Annexure-1

      Annexure -1

      Stages of Implementation and cost concern.

      1 st stage is prototype evolution --------------------------------75 Lac

      2 nd stage will be for patent registration. --------------------- 10 Lacs.

      3 rd stage design evaluation ------------------------------------80 Lacs

      4 th stage Design freeze with fix vendor ---------- ------------75 Lac

      5 th stage prove consistency of product evaluated.------------60 Lac

      6 th stage Product fixing in receptive car models

      and field trials --------------------------------------------------75 Lac

      7th satge press conference and marketing --------------------75 Lacs

      Total 4.5 crores

      Rajesh Rana

    • eurozulu profile image

      bradley brown 

      7 years ago from Harrow Middlesex

      Very enjoyable read Princessa, Love my french cars last three have been Scenic's and present one is 1.6 FIDJI.

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      8 years ago from France

      I am learning to drive in a Peugeot and so far it is a great drive. I've tried other cars from the driving school, but I def prefer de Peugeot

    • profile image

      Heng Yong Tuck 

      8 years ago

      I have had 4 Peugeot 405's in a row. I like the Pininfarina design the most and wonder why Peugeot does not go to them for exteriors anymore. A plain look wastes the engineering expertise of Peugeot, which I think makes the best cars for the money and beyond. For example, Peugeot puts in a bigger budget than any other car manufacturer into suspensions of its cars, with very enjoyable results for drivers and passengers. I hope that Peugeot can consistenly wrap beautiful skins over its cars, like it has done for the 508 and future 208.

    • shafiqahmed profile image


      8 years ago

      Very good and informative hub. A good addition in your hubs.

    • profile image

      chloe mae 

      9 years ago

      well i have always wanted a 67 cevey impala because they are the best car ever

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm fairly certain that 1985 saw the last year of the Simca. There was a 1308 variant that came out and died pretty quickly at the hands of the VW golf. Awesome history behind that company thought.

    • Tusitala Tom profile image

      Tom Ware 

      9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I understand Chrysler bought out the French manufacturer, Simca, in the early 1960s. What happened to Simca cars? Was the line simply stopped?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i like your site. its new info for me.

    • bob9125 profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      I never thought about french cars. thanks for introducing me to them.

    • falakpema profile image


      9 years ago

      the french cars are trying to make a come back in the EV segment with the Renault/ Nissan models Leaf and Twizzy?.

      But then, will they catch up with the Japanese, way ahead in the HEV bracket. Let's see...

      There is big scandal today about Renault strategic assets in EV haven been pilfered by the chinese... Small world when it comes to in the days of CCCR!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It was truly fabulous any buddy who crazy for car definitely like this post.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i have Citroen zx 1.4i avantage 1995 model the problem is i can not find the manufacturing date in the body so that i can not pay the tax of duty and there is no a dealer in my country Ethiopia for the part,the rest i love it the car it is very comfortable good fuel consumption.

    • profile image

      Transmission Problem 

      9 years ago

      Champs Elysées is such a history!

      I love watching car show and I dream of even a short travel in Paris. I would surely land my feet in Champs Elysées before I die

    • profile image

      Used Cars in NC 

      9 years ago

      Awesome information. I love reading the entire selection because it holds several facts but they linger in the memory. The weaving of words is simply awesome!


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for the hub. So informative, a lesson I learned today!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      american cars are better.

    • TheOneWhoKnows profile image


      9 years ago from Croatia

      I have Peugeot 307 :-)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Drove 2 Peugeot until they were respectively 14 and 11 years old + 1 Renault until 10 years of age. I've now been driving a brilliant and sober Peugeot 206 for the last 3 years.

      And, in the few months I drove an ugly, thirsty 2006 Pontiac, I had it fixed more often than the 4 French cars combined...

    • profile image

      upvc french doors 

      9 years ago

      I had a peugot once. Kept having problems over and over again. Wouldn't get one again.

    • profile image

      car hire in Birmingham 

      9 years ago

      They make some of the best value cars. I love my citreon.

    • Friend of Friends profile image

      Friend of Friends 

      10 years ago

      Good cars from beautiful people, great to see French cars in action. Both cars are known for their quality and performance.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I have a Renault mégane 1998 and a peugeot 207 2009 and i have to say that they are reliable, fast, comfortable, strong and on top of that relatively cheap. I prefer the French cars to U.S.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      it sounds good and i would like to buy one

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      peugeots sound good but i think i like my hyundai better

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i like the post, i like the car.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      not the best cars produced Peugeot

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      recently bought a Peugeot 407, very good car

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Hi Mark: Renault and Peugeot-Citroen are developing electric cars with aid from the government. However, few, if any, of Europe's electric cars are expected to be brought to US markets.

    • profile image

      Mark Patton 

      10 years ago

      I remember when the Renault was here in the US. I really liked those cars. Has the French auto industry developed hybrid cars yet? I don't hear much about that.

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Shannon: They are certainly different.

      Novak: Good to hear that is a reliable make.

      J.P: That was cute model.

    • J.P. Gardie profile image

      J.P. Gardie 

      10 years ago from Europe

      My first car was a red Peugeot 205 GTI. It had no radio, no functioning coupé heating or fan. But I loved it! It was so much fun driving it. I really miss my little Peugeot.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm sticking with Toyota. I have had three, and my family have had several in the past, and we only need to trade them in when we are looking to get the latest model - never because of any kind of mechanical defects or wear because of age.

    • profile image

      Shannon Paulk 

      10 years ago

      I've always been a fan of Renault but hadn't considered them much since I'm in the US. They produce very nice cars.

    • sweetie1 profile image


      10 years ago from India

      Renault looks a good car but they are just not popular in India because they booked cars few years back and not everyone who canceled booking got the money and my dad still has to get his 25,000 rs though they canceled their booking 15 years back. This made them loose all credibility.

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      HKrafston : I don't think that you can find many French cars in the USA, but if you are interested in the HISTORY OF FRENCH CARS IN USA you can ckeck this article

      JunkerBob: You can find some French cars in e-bay, but the selection is not very big.

      kasanova: thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • HKrafston profile image


      10 years ago from Columbus, OH

      You learn something everyday. I didn't know the French made cars. Have ever sold them in the US? Thanks

    • JunkerBob profile image


      11 years ago from Ohio, US

      I've always wanted to get my hands on a Peugeot 206, alas, I live in the US. Nice write up though.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      nice hub..outside of europe, french cars have limited success.

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      11 years ago from France

      themoneyscams: glad you enjoyed it!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      hey Princessa nice information you have about cars i really like your this hub

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      11 years ago from France

      Hi Brian: shame about the window :(

      Guidebaba: “To dream anything that you want to dream. That's the beauty of the human mind."

    • guidebaba profile image


      11 years ago from India

      All I dream for is a Rolls Royce to take my "to be wife" on a long drive.

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      11 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      I own a little Renault Megane and I do really like it but one of the electric windows packed up a little while ago which apparently is a very common fault in this model. I have to say I find that really annoying because if there is a known fault it should be sorted out. Other than that the car is great, really economical and fun to drive so shame about the window.


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