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French Car Manufacturers

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.

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


bradley brown from Harrow Middlesex on April 09, 2013:

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

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on July 16, 2012:

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

Heng Yong Tuck on January 12, 2012:

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 on September 16, 2011:

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

chloe mae on May 09, 2011:

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

Transolution on March 26, 2011:

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.

Tom Ware from Sydney, Australia on February 23, 2011:

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

shahbaz on January 27, 2011:

i like your site. its new info for me.

bob9125 from United States on January 25, 2011:

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

falakpema on January 07, 2011:

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 espionage...like in the days of CCCR!

Viresh on December 27, 2010:

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

goitom on December 21, 2010:

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.

Transmission Problem on December 16, 2010:

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

Used Cars in NC on November 29, 2010:

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!


KLeichester on November 25, 2010:

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

Thomas on November 16, 2010:

american cars are better.

TheOneWhoKnows from Croatia on September 25, 2010:

I have Peugeot 307 :-)

Scotian on August 31, 2010:

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...

upvc french doors on August 31, 2010:

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

car hire in Birmingham on August 18, 2010:

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

Friend of Friends on August 09, 2010:

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

Zaimi on July 30, 2010:

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.

unkown on July 20, 2010:

it sounds good and i would like to buy one

alster on June 19, 2010:

peugeots sound good but i think i like my hyundai better

ballack2014 on May 26, 2010:

i like the post, i like the car.

edmundos on April 28, 2010:

not the best cars produced Peugeot

joshuax on April 26, 2010:

recently bought a Peugeot 407, very good car

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on February 22, 2010:

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.

Mark Patton on February 22, 2010:

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.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on February 09, 2010:

Shannon: They are certainly different.

Novak: Good to hear that is a reliable make.

J.P: That was cute model.

J.P. Gardie on February 09, 2010:

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.

Novak on January 18, 2010:

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.

Shannon Paulk on January 07, 2010:

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 from India on December 04, 2009:

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.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on September 14, 2009:

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 http://www.theautochannel.com/news/writers/bhagin/...

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 from Columbus, OH on September 13, 2009:

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

JunkerBob from Ohio, US on August 13, 2009:

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

kasanova on July 25, 2009:

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

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on July 06, 2009:

themoneyscams: glad you enjoyed it!

themoneyscams on July 04, 2009:

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

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on June 15, 2009:

Hi Brian: shame about the window :(

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

guidebaba from India on June 12, 2009:

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

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on June 12, 2009:

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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