French automotive industry has faced a lot of problems while heading towards leading positions on the car market. There have been many attempts along with promises of leading brands before they entered a list of leading participants in this segment. Nevertheless French car producing industry is among top 10 all over the world ate the moment offering luxurious and reliable autos which are featured by comfort and additional options.

The annual capacity of French automotive industry is about 3 million vehicles. At the same time the share of French cars that is sold to Europe is about 25% of all autos.

The results are very high considering all those failures throughout the history of development. It is not surprising that the best European cars are produced by French brands. Some models are award-winning with Car of the Year titles and other prizes which prove high quality.


List of Present Major French Cars (Manufacturers)

PSA Group


PSA Group is the major auto concern in France. Despite the fact that the company was founded in 1898 as Société Anonyme des automobiles PEUGEOT, PSA Group got its current structure only in 1979. This is the most important stage for the concern due to launching of diesel engines production equipped by turbo compressors. The corporation unites two largest French car brands of all times. They are Peugeot and Citroen.



Few of us may know that one of the oldest car producing brands in France started as coffee grinder and pepper manufacturer in 1842. Later it dealt with wire wheels and bicycles. In 1896 the company was mainly focused on producing car engines. In 1899 more than 300 autos of this brad were sold. Peugeot started gaining popularity with purchasers. Now it offers innovative solutions in the face of hybrid models for more economy and comfort.




Andre Citroen regretted not being a part of punk wave. He was a true revolutionary who created avant-garde car workshops with their unique style. His brand can be compared with release of first punk-rock albums which made a lot of mess and attracted at the same time. This is what new Citroen models did. They inspired attracted attention and were really desired by French consumers who are famous for their extraordinary taste. Now Citroen is a part of PSA concern.


Renault–Nissan Alliance


Renault–Nissan Alliance is a result of cooperation between France and Japan. Both countries take leading positions in automotive industry. At the same time such cooperation made it possible for two major brands to extend their abilities as well as increase production potential. Moreover this alliance is the biggest producer of electronic vehicles all over the world with 200 000 units manufactured by November 2014.  Renault–Nissan Alliance has turned into a strategic partnership between two leading auto brands.


Renault logo

Renault was started by 3 brothers in 1899. At first the company was not very profitable. It took decades to turn it into a prosperous and recognizable brand. Now Renault is 4th biggest car producing company in the world. Such leading position has resulted in a very successful cooperation and partnership with Nissan. Renault–Nissan Alliance made it possible to go up in the top list of the world’s largest automakers.


List of Present Minor French Car Companies


ACMAT logo

The company was founded in 1958 and was mainly used for production of military vehicles. However the time went by and in 2006 ACMAT has become a part of Renault Trucks brand. It also produces trailers, engines, cabs and additional components.


Alpine logo

Alpine brand is now a part of Renault–Nissan Alliance. It is mainly specialized in manufacturing sports and racing cars as well as rear-mounted engines. The company was founded in before that WWII. Only few models were popular with consumers. It became successful after it was bought by Renault in 1978.


Auverland logo

This brand got its new name and it is now called Panhard General Defense. It is a part of Renault Trucks. This is probably the only famous French producer of SUVs which are practically the same as models produced by Jeeps. Auverland is among few companies which are specialized in manufacturing all-wheel drive vehicles.


This brand is all about speed, power, high speed and luxury. Bugatti autos cost a fortune. At the same time the represents unique style in combination with horse power. These autos have been announced the fastest cars in the world for several times over the last few years.


DeLaChapelle logo

DeLaChapelle is a good example of independent auto producer. It does not belong to any of world’s famous concerns or corporations. Nevertheless it is still in the top list of French automakers providing a true historic legacy in the face of Stimula marque.

Exagon Motors

Exagon Motors logo

Exagon Motors resulted in creation of racing team which is called Exagon Engineering. They deal with all necessary preparations for FIA World Touring Racing Championship.


PGO logo

PGO is another brand which produces exclusive sports cars. The company is successful in competing with such titans on this market as Lotus, Morgan and Donkervoort.


Venturi logo

The main feature of Venturi brand is the fact that it is multi-national company. It is specialized in producing electric vehicles of the highest quality featuring luxury, great style and design. Venturi brand also deals with motorcycles production.

These are not the only minor French automakers. The list may be continued with such names like Aixam, MDI, Bellier and JDA SIMPA. These companies are mostly oriented on producing microcars which are becoming very popular due to high level of economy and additional features.