1929 - 1934
FROM THE ZERO TO THE ECLIPSE
The 201 starts the system of using model names containing a central zero and Peugeot invents the folding roof.
The 201, the first car with independent front wheels.
1929 The car which quickly becomes known simply as the 201 makes its appearance at the Paris Show in October under the name 6 hp Type 201. It is the first car to have an 0 in the middle of its name - a policy still followed today. Peugeot registers a trademark based on having 3 digits with a central zero. Following the 1931 Motor Show, the 201 is the first car in the world to have independent front wheels as standard. This feature coupled with its fuel economy ensures that it enjoys broad success, enabling Peugeot to survive the economic crisis relatively easily.
1930 Production of bicycles in Beaulieu reaches a peak of 162,000 units.
1932 Launch of the 301 and victory for the 201 in the Monte Carlo rally. This proves to be Peugeot's most difficult year. Like every other carmakers, it is affected by the financial crisis. Production drops from 43,000 units in 1930 to 33,000 in 1931 and down to 28,000 by 1932. However, the figure rises back up to 36,000 in 1933.
The 301 Eclipse
1933 At the Paris Motor Show in October, launch of an aerodynamic shape for the full Peugeot range. It features shell headlights, a slightly inclined radiator grill and low-swooping wings. The aerodynamic 301 appears at the same time, featuring a back with a profile like a dress with a flowing train. Launch of the first Peugeot electric tools.
1934 In May comes the introduction of the 601, a top of the range six cylinder model. Appearance of the first car to feature a folding roof. The car is the 401 and the model name is the Eclipse. This world first, created in collaboration with the designer Paulin, the Peugeot concessionaire Darl'Mat and the Pourtout body construction firm, results in the standardised production by Peugeot of one of the most original cars in production worldwide. This idea was picked up by Ford in the Fifties and Mercedes-Benz in the Nineties and then reinvented by Peugeot to suit modern tastes in 1998 with the 20 Coeur shown at the Geneva Show in 1999. In October, launch of the 401 at the Paris Show and adoption of the "beaver tail" type of body across the range. The 515, a 500 cc motorbike, breaks three world records.