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The Link Between Water Mills And A Coat Of Arms

Dec 9, 2007
Peugeot and Vauxhall car manufacturers have had mixed success over the years but today are both so far up on the popularity list that some suppliers have decided to combine the two into joint Peugeot and Vauxhall dealerships.

Peugeot have enjoyed steady success since their inception into the motor industry in 1898 with their steam powered tricycle, considered the first automobile, and Vauxhall have played a very triumphant game of catch up.

Jean Pequinot Peugeot originally enjoyed success building water mills but not content with this, and using his obsession with wheels and cogs, he and his company then went on to produce coffee grinders, razors, sewing machines, roasting spits, watch springs, clocks, garden furniture (not sure how that fits!), saws, bicycles, tricycles and gramophones.

In the early years of Peugeot a gold engraver was commissioned with designing the lion trademark for steel articles manufactured in Peugeot Brothers factories. The durability, quickness and suppleness of a lion is comparable to that of steel and so the company logo was born.

With a similar looking beast representing the Vauxhall, the Griffin is based on the coat of arms of Fulk Le Breant, a mercenary soldier who, on marriage, was granted the Manor of an area of London, later known as Vauxhall. It also turns out that he had the Manor of Luton for services to King John and is therefore connected to both areas of Vauxhall production.

Peugeot did struggle at first in the bicycle market against the British but after stirring up some patriotic fervour, many competitors for the Paris - Nantes race in 1889 chose to use Peugeot cycles and were on the first five across the finishing line. Still riding on this success, the company endeavoured to set up a car hire firm in 1898 but this failed dismally.

Around the same time, Vauxhall were still building pumps and marine engines in Vauxhall, London. Their first car was released in 1903 swiftly followed in 1905 by the company's move to Luton where they were well known for their sporty looking cars. General Motors bought the company in 1925 and their sporty look was tamed into a more conservative American styling.

Peugeot took over with the sports influence and began their life-long move into the world of Motorsport winning the Monte Carlo rally in 1931. Rallies and races all over the world have seen Peugot take the lead right up to today with races now being won in the Peugeot 908. This has kept them in the spotlight and Peugeot have enjoyed steady success.

Vauxhall have not found things so easy. Even with the Calibra Coupe of 1989, which was officially the most aerodynamic car in the world at the time, they have still struggled to overcome their reputation for corrosion.

However, it can't possibly be all bad. They are now closer than ever to Ford in terms of sales figures and with their latest models veering back into sports mode they are becoming ever popular among the young. Personally, I have owned two Vauxhalls over the last 10 years. A Cavalier which proved to be very reliable and an Astra 2.0 which was a fantastic little car but did earn me 6 points for speeding!

Despite the differences in their history, Peugeot cars and Vauxhall cars are now on a par with each other to the point where dealerships are happy to combine the two.
About the Author
Car expert Shaun Parker looks into the Peugeot and Vauxhall dealerships combined success. To find out more please visit http://www.dickensgroup.com/
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