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View of the Peugeot 203 body assembly line in 1948
10/09/2012 | Sochaux

The Sochaux plant, one of the oldest automobile production sites in the world still in operation, is celebrating its centennial this year. As part of the festivities, Supervisory Board Chairman Thierry Peugeot and Managing Board Chairman Philippe Varin will inaugurate an exhibition entitled "M14, Expo of the Century" on 10 September. Pierre Moscovici, France's Minister of Economy and Finance, will be among the invited guests.

Peugeot founded the Sochaux plant in 1912 to produce lorries. After World War I, the Company decided to concentrate all its production at the site, which is France's largest plant and a symbol of the automobile industry.

With 12,000 employees, Sochaux is a major component in PSA Peugeot Citroën's production base. The Group has just invested €200 million to create a new body-in-white workshop at Sochaux and to upgrade the paint shop.

More than 20 million vehicles have rolled off the line since the plant opened, among them the Peugeot 201, 402, 203, 403, 404 and 504. Today, the plant assembles 1,670 vehicles a day, including the Peugeot 308, 3008, 5008, the Citroën DS5 and the two brands' hybrid models. In all, 12,000 employees work at Sochaux, of which nearly 4,000 in R&D.  In celebrating this anniversary, the Company pays homage to the generations of men and women who over the years transformed rolls of steel into increasingly high-performance automobiles.

Under the slogan "We draw strength from our history", the Sochaux plant will celebrate its centennial with a number of events open to all:

  • From 15 September to 15 October, the "M14, Expo of the Century" retrospective will present, for the first time, documents taken from a library of more than one million photographs preserved at the Group's Terre Blanche archives. Visitors will re-live a number of the century's defining moments as seen from Sochaux, with a focus on such topics as changing working conditions, the role of women in manufacturing since 1912 and how vehicles are created and developed.
  • On 16 September, Sochaux will hold a "bicycle through the plant" open house for adults and children during which employees will present the different workshops.
  • On 20 October, Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" will be screened in the M14 workshop, with the musical score interpreted by the Victor Hugo Franche Comté philharmonic orchestra in cooperation with Scène Nationale de Montébeliard. A second screening will be held exclusively for site employees on 21 October.

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