The first cars of every major car maker (Part 1)

Karl Benz built the first car in 1885, and since then many thousands of companies have sprung up trying to make a name for themselves.

But few have survived and here we take a look at how some of those survivors (plus a few that didn’t make it) got started. Sometimes things are a lot more convoluted than you think though, with some companies claiming two (or even three) first cars… In chronological order, let’s take a look at the first car made by every major carmaker ceme online terpercaya

Mercedes-Benz: Patent Motorwagen (1886)
This is where it all started – the first company to build a car. Karl Benz built his first car in 1885 and he patented it in January 1886, but the Mercedes-Benz name wouldn’t be adopted until 1901. That first car (called the Patent Motorwagen, pictured here) had just three wheels and a 0.75bhp 954cc single-cylinder engine, but in 1893 Benz built his first four-wheeler, the Viktoria, powered by a 3bhp 1745cc engine.

Mercedes-Benz is today part of the wider Daimler group, and produced 2.5m cars in 2017.

Peugeot (1891)
Peugeot started out in 1842 making salt and pepper grinders before moving into bicycle production 40 years later. Then in 1891 Peugeot built its first car, a four-wheeled machine with a rear-mounted V-twin engine driving the rear wheels via a chain. Just five cars were made in that first year, but this grew to 29 in 1892. By 1900 Peugeot production was up to 500 cars in one year.

Today, Peugeot is part of the wider PSA Group, which also owns Citroën and Vauxhall/Opel, and is based just outside Paris.

Ford: Quadricycle (1896)
Henry Ford built his first experimental car in 1896. Known as the Ford Quadricycle, the vehicle would remain a one-off. By 1899 Ford had set up the Detroit Automobile Company which in 1901 was renamed the Henry Ford Company. Within a year Ford had fallen out with his financial backers and he left to set up a new venture – the Ford Motor Company. More to come on this story shortly…

Renault: Type A (1898)
Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault set up Société Renault Freres in 1899, having already built a prototype 1CV voiturette the previous year. Capable of 20mph, the Type A got an annual facelift until it went out of production in 1903, by which point it was fitted with a 5hp engine in place of the original 1hp unit.

Based just outside Paris, today Renault is one of Europe’s leading car companies, and part of a wider global alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi.