5 Most Popular French Car Brands, Three in Indonesia!

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Erome - French car brands are no longer foreign to Indonesia. Even though they are not as many as Japanese brands, in fact they can still survive today, and even continue to grow. Of several French car manufacturers, Citroen can be said to be one of the oldest in Indonesia. History records that Citroen has been around since the Dutch colonial era, around the 1930s, with the Citroen TA type.

Apart from that, the image of French cars in Indonesia is not as good as other European cars such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Even though Citroen, Renault and Peugeot have never positioned their brands to compete with these two European giants. In fact, Citroen is targeting the Japanese car market in Indonesia. Unfortunately, in competing with Japanese brands, they lost due to the scarcity of spare parts and rarely workshops that could handle them. 

"Especially for Peugeot, there are many components that can only be opened with special tools and not all workshops have them, which is different from now," said Putra, a car mechanic in the Otista area, East Jakarta. For more details, here is the story of French car brands, some of which are also in Indonesia.

1. Citroen

The first French car brand was Citroen . It could be said that this brand was the first to popularize and mass produce cars with a front wheel drive system (FWD) and independent suspension through its vehicle product called Citroen TA (Traction Avant) in 1933. 
Quoting the Citroen Indonesia community forum page, this manufacturer with the double Chevron logo has been present in Indonesia since 1930, then only officially arrived in the 1970s with PT Alun becoming the first official sole agent for Citroen.

There were also cars being sold at that time, such as the Citroen Dyane, Mehari FAF, GS and CX sedans which were sold in the late 1970s to 1980s. Then in 1980, PT Alun sold the Citroen BX until the early 90s, and Citroen has not sold another car since 1994.

And now, Stellantis NV, the parent company of Citroen, has appointed the Indomobil Group to run the Citroen business in Indonesia to be ready to start selling cars again starting in 2023.
This partnership was announced in Jakarta on Wednesday 4 October 2022, while appointing PT Indomobil Wahana Trada, to handle the distribution and sales of Citroen products in Indonesia.

2. Peugeot

The next French car brand is Peugeot . The car manufacturer with the lion logo started assembling cars in 1888. The first car they produced used a steam engine and was first sold in 1891.
Currently, Peugeot is part of the PSA Group, which oversees several other brands such as Citroen, DS Mobile, Opel and Vauxhall.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, under the Astra Group, Peugeot has been known since 1972 when Astra officially became a Peugeot distributor. Sales in Indonesia started with models 504, 505, 206, 306, 406, 407 and others. Most recently, at the end of 2021, Peugeot just launched two of its flagship SUVs, the 3008 and 5008 Allure Plus variants. It is hoped that the presence of these two cars will revive the long-dormant Peugeot brand in Indonesia.

3. Renault

The French government owns 15% of the company. Nissan also holds a 15% non-voting stake in the company, while Renault holds a 43% voting stake in Nissan. This was the forerunner of the Renault-Nissan alliance which began in 1999 and became the fourth largest automotive group in the world.

For Indonesia, Renault has existed since 1973 by PT Multi France Motor (Astra). Where the initial model was assembled 12TL. Then in 1979 the second model Renault 5 entered, followed in the 1980s by the 18TL, as well as the 21 TL luxury sedan in 1990-1991 and this was the last one sold by Renault if I'm not mistaken.

It was only in 2000 that Renault was officially held by PT Auto Euro Indonesia. Renault still exists and has been held by PT Maxindo Renault Indonesia (MRI) since 2019. Currently, the Renault models still being marketed are the Renault Koleos, Renault Triber, Renault Kiger and Renault KWID.

4. Simka

Another most popular French car brand is Simca. Regarding this brand, it may still sound strange. However, this is also a car brand from France that has existed in Indonesia.
In contrast to other French automotive brands, Simca has had a very short presence in Indonesia. The last time Simca was assembled by Djakarta Motor was to sell a car in 1975, only the Simca 1000 model was sold.

In France itself, Simca was born in 1934. After being affiliated with FIAT, this brand then bought Ford facilities in France, and entered the hands of the Chrysler Group. Unfortunately, currently, Simca no longer exists in the world.

5. Bugatti

The next French car brand is Bugatti. Maybe many people don't know that Bugatti is an old player in the automotive industry. How could it not be, this manufacturer has been around since 15 September 1881 in Molsheim, Alsace, France (formerly part of Germany), employing up to 1,200 employees to assemble classic Bugattis.

In 1947, after the founder Ettore Bugatti died, Bugatti experienced decline and changed hands several times. In 1998, Volkswagen bought the rights to make cars under the Bugatti name. In early 1998, Volkswagen introduced the first Bugatti prototype at the Paris Auto Salon, the Bugatti EB 118, a two-door coupe with 555 horsepower designed by Italdesign.

In 2009, the company introduced the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, a convertible sports car capable of speeds of around 253 miles per hour and priced at more than 2 million US dollars. The Veyron can reach 60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds.

At the International Auto Show in Frankfurt in the fall of that year, Volkswagen introduced the Bugatti Chiron 18.3, named after Bugatti's greatest racing driver of the post-war era. Until now, the Bugatti Chiron and Veyron have been called one of the fastest cars in the world.

That's the review of the most popular French car brands. Keep watching Moladin.com for the latest automotive news updates. EROME


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