Looking at the history of French cars industry, you can see year after year of promises and attempts to enter the luxury segment, but they all resulted with shocking failures. But the French automotive industry is a pioneer of the automotive industry and currently is in the top ten largest manufacturers in the world. The French cars feature stunning comfort, excellent design and powerful performance that awe their fans and owners alike all around the world. The French car brands lead the world with production of about 3 million vehicles. According to a recent survey, about 25% of all vehicles sold in the European Community are French car brands.
The best European cars are often associated with France and that is not accidentally. The most popular French car brands are represented in a big number and have won the European Car of the Year and the World Car of the Year several times. Speaking of popular French cars, here is a short list of the most popular French car brands that are represented and adored all across the globe.
PSA Peugeot Citroen
PSA Peugeot Citroen is one of the most famous French car brands. Founded in 1976, PSA Peugeot Citroen is the second largest car manufacturer in Europe and it sells under Peugeot and Citroen marque all across the globe. PSA Peugeot Citroen is headquartered in Paris and has a production of about 3.5 vehicles in total. In 2012, it was the second largest European car brand in terms of produced units, only after the Volkswagen Group, and ninth largest in the world. The company has a bright and successful future, as it disposes with over 210,000 employees worldwide.
Venturi is a French car brand located in Monaco and manufactures some of the most exotic cars in the world. Founded in 1984 by engineers Gerard Godefro and Claude Poiraud, the company was known for producing only exotic cars until its bankruptcy in 2000. When Monegasque Gildo Pallanca Pastor acquired Venturi a year after the bankruptcy, the company manufactures only luxury and limited electric vehicles. Venturi entered the motorcycle market in 2009, when the company acquired theFrench motorcycle manufacturer Voxan.
Founded in 1899, Renault is one of the biggest French car brands with a headquarter in Boulogne Bullecourt. Its founders are the young engineers Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault who knew how to manage a company successfully. The company has a production of about 3,2 million vehicles and a big revenue of about 43 billion Euros. Renaults sells its cars in over 110 countries through its wide network of dealers situated in various parts of the world.
Although it is defunct since 1963, Bugatti is worth mention as one of the most popular French car brands. Bugatti was a manufacturer of luxury and high performance sport cars and operated from 1909 to 1963. Ettore Bugatti was its founder and during his managing, Bugattis were known as beautiful French cars and they were recognizable by gorgeous design and undisputed powerful performance. Bugatti cars have won many victories in various races, but the death of Ettore came out to be the death of the brand. In 1998, Bugatti was bought by Volkswagen Group and it produces excellent cars again. But, the original Bugatti is famed for manufacturing some of the most exclusive and fastest French cars in the world.
Alpine was a French company that manufactured sports and racing cars with Renault engines and operated from 1945 to 1995. The founder of Alpine is Jean Redele, who was a Dieppe garage proprietor and achieved a lot of success with Alpine. The Dieppe was the factory of Alpine when Renault gained the popular brand in 1973. Megane Renault Sport and Clio Renault Sport are some of the Renault Sport models which were manufactured in Dieppe. Unfortunately, since 1995 the company is defunct and new models are still coming out, but now under a joint venture Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham.