Unbelievable what they produced over the years!Älgbert Elgson
Dieser Artikel ist auch in Deutsch verfügbar.
The French vehicle manufacturer Peugeot started serial production of automobiles in 1891 and is therefore the oldest existing automobile brand. In the long history of the company, besides motor vehicles, sewing machines, bicycles, grinders, motorcycles, spice mills, saw blades, watch springs, corsets, various hand tools and many other products have been and are being manufactured. There is hardly an area in which the Peugeot company has not tried to produce and sell products profitably.
The plant in Sochaux, which was built in 1912, became the main automobile production plant in 1925 and is now Peugeot’s largest production facility. It also houses the brand’s factory museum with many unique exhibits from the company’s history.
The trail of history
The Peugeot story started much earlier. The first entrepreneurial foundations were laid at the end of the 18th century when the Peugeot family ran an oil mill, tannery and dyeing in Hérimoncourt.
Due to the emerging economic changes, the brothers Jean-Frédéric and Jean-Pierre built an iron foundry on the site of the oil mill in 1810. From then on, steel products such as saw blades, springs and corset bars were manufactured there.
November 20, 1858, is considered the „official birth of the lion“. On this day, the lion was registered as a trademark for Peugeot products.
In the second half of the 19th century, the Peugeot product range, which also included mechanical clippers, springs for phonographs, agricultural equipment, razor blades, coffee grinders and irons, was known far beyond the borders of France for its quality. To this day, Peugeot still produces tools, pepper and coffee grinders in addition to vehicles.
Vehicles have also been built in Sochaux since 1912 – mainly trucks in times of war.
In addition to the company headquarters, the factory is also the group’s largest production plant. So it was only natural to open the factory museum here at this important site.
The museum is logically structured and the entrance area in particular can be stylistically convincing. The paths and compartments are kept in the style of the respective epoch and everything that the Peugeot company has ever built is exhibited. And that’s a whole lot! Starting from mills (coffee, pepper, salt, …) to knives, choppers, hammers, tongs, measuring instruments, corsets, drills, angle grinders, radios, refrigerators, washing machines, bicycles, carriages, hunting rifles, sewing machines, hand grenades, vacuum cleaners, bombs, air pumps , Mixer, aircraft & boat engines and of course motor vehicles.
The exhibition begins with the early years and works steadily forward on the time scale. You can see unique exhibits and also technical solutions that were far ahead of their time. First car with fully automatically retractable metal roof (Peugeot 601 Eclipse – 1934), first large-series production car with a diesel engine (Peugeot 403 – 1959 -> YES, Mercedes and Hanomag fitted the first diesel engine into a car as early as 1936, but these were not yet large series) or also the first Pope mobile that was based on a pickup, to name just a few examples.
The exhibits are in perfect condition and are constantly being exchanged with vehicles from the seemingly inexhaustible fund of Peugeot. Thus, no visit is like the other and you have the opportunity to discover something new with every visit.
There is also a small bistro in the museum and – how could it be otherwise – a souvenir shop. There are many benches and seating options at a short distance and there is nothing standing in the way of a tour with a pram or wheelchair.
It is also possible to visit the nearby Peugeot plant, but only with advance notification. The tour lasts around two hours and is accompanied by an experienced guide who previously worked in the factory in French, German or English. But it is definitely an advantage if you understand at least some French. The tour can either be reserved in the Peugeot Museum or better online on their homepage.
How to get there?
The museum can be found in Sochaux in the middle of town, right next to the factory premises. There are enough parking spaces directly in front of the building, which can also be closed during events. Then you have to switch to other parking spaces in the area.
If you would like to find out more about the Peugeot brand and its history, this is the place for you – but technology enthusiasts will also get their money’s worth here. The exhibition is very well designed and with the help of the many information signs you can learn a lot about the exhibits.
The vehicles are in perfect condition and there are also individual pieces and prototypes in the exhibition.