Peugeot was founded in 1810 by the French family of the same name, yet it wasn't until the 1890s that the famed lion trademark was granted and not until 1891 that the company started to produce their first car. In 1889 they created four vehicles and over the next decade they slowly expanded so that by 1910, 300 cars were being produced per year. However, the uncomfortable driving conditions of these early models led them to fall into disrepute, so Peugeot rectified the problem by covering their car wheels with rubber. As a result, Peugeot was the very first car manufacturer to use rubber on the tyres of their vehicles.
Over the next twenty years the company went from strength to strength and in 1929 the Peugeot 201 was launched, which was the least expensive production car available at the time. It was this car that helped to secure Peugeot through the Great Depression and enabled them to survive until their economic situation improved. After the war, production continued on the 202 and then in the 1950s the Peugeot 203 was produced. This model had hydraulic brakes and rack-and-pinion steering as well as suspension. With rapid sales and record breaking profit levels for this vehicle, the company had sustained growth right into the 1960s.
Two decades later Peugeot launched the Peugeot 205 in 1983, which helped the company to make a name for itself as a global car production company. Ten years later the 306 was placed on the market. This was an extremely popular family car that stayed in production until 2001, at which time the Peugeot 307 was launched. In recent years, a diesel-electric hybrid Peugeot 307 was manufactured which could hit speeds of 80 miles per hour, however this model was just a concept vehicle and failed to be launched commercially. Nowadays the company is still developing low-carbon vehicles using hybrid electric power train technology and Peugeot PROLOGUE HYmotion4. At present, these have only been installed in concept cars but they may well be incorporated into new models in the coming years.