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France or Republique Francaise (French Republic) is a sovereign state in Western Europe. The capital is Paris. This nation was a pioneer of automotive industry.

Flag of France

List of French automotive companies

History of automobiles in France Edit

18th and 19th centuries Edit

1769 - Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot builds the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle.

1859 - Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir develops an internal combustion engine.

1884 - Edouard Delamare-Deboutteville is credited in France with building the first petrol-powered automobile.

1885 - Amedee Bollee begins manufacturing steam-powered vehicles.

1887 - Leon Serpollet begins building steam-powered vehicles.

1887 - Panhard et Levassor established as a car manufacturing concern by Rene Panhard and Emile Levassor, with the first car produced in 1891.

1890 - Armand Peugeot produces a four-wheeled car powered by a Daimler petrol fueled internal combustion engine.

1894 - Albert de Doin and Georges Bouton produce a single-cylinder petrol-powered engine and in 1898 produced a four-wheeler. They had previously built steam-powered vehicles beginning in 1883.

1894 - Delahaye is founded by Emile Delahaye. The company is bought by Hotchkiss et Cie in 1954 and discontinues auto production.

1896 - Armand Peugeot starts to build and fit his own engines to his cars.

1896 - Leon Bollee builds petrol-powered cars.

1898 - The Renault brothers, Louis, Marcel and Fernand, sell their first car.

1900 to 1950 Edit

1903 - France remains the world's leading automaker, producing 30,124 cars (nearly 49% of the world total) as against 11,235 cars produced in the United States.

1903 - Hotchkiss et Cie is founded. The company is bought by Peugeot in 1950, but discontinues auto production by 1955.

1905 - Delage is founded by Louis Delage. Company is bought by Delahaye in 1935 but ceases auto production in 1954.

1910 - Ettore Bugatti started the Bugatti company in Molsheim (then in Germany, now in France). Pruduction ends in 1956.

1911 - The French branch of Hispano-Suiza is founded. Auto production is ended in 1938.

1919 - Avions Voisin is founded by Gabriel Voisin. Production ceases in 1939. After the war, Voisin designed a microcar, the Biscuter.

1919 - Citroen is founded by Andre-Gustave Citroen.

1920 - Darracq (founded 1896) merges with Sunbeam and Talbot, creating what eventually became Talbot-Lago in 1935. Company is bought by Simca in 1959.

1921 - Amilcar is founded. The company merges with Hotchkiss et Cie in 1937 and ceases production in 1939.

1921 - Salmson begins auto production. In 1957 the company is bought by Renault.

1929 - French annual automobile production peaked at 253,000 passenger cars.

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