|Fate||merged into Chrysler Europe, subsequently into PSA|
|Successor||Talbot, a brand of PSA Peugeot Citroën|
|Founder||Henri Théodore Pigozzi|
|Defunct||1970 taken over by Chrysler,|
1979 by PSA
|Headquarters|| Nanterre, France (1935–1961)|
Poissy, France (1954–1970)
|Products||Simca Aronde, Simca Ariane, Simca Vedette, Simca 1000, Simca 1100, Simca 1300/1500, Simca 1307|
Simca (Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile; Mechanical and Automotive Body Manufacturing Company) was a French automaker, founded in November 1934 by Fiat and directed from July 1935 to May 1963 by Italian Henri Théodore Pigozzi. Simca was affiliated with Fiat and, after Simca bought Ford's French activities, became increasingly controlled by the Chrysler Group. In 1970, Simca became a subsidiary and brand of Chrysler Europe, ending its period as an independent company. Simca disappeared in 1978, when Chrysler divested its European operations to another French automaker, PSA Peugeot Citroën. PSA replaced the Simca brand with Talbot after a short period when some models were badged as Simca-Talbots.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.
Chrysler is one of the "Big Three" automobile manufacturers in the United States, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The original Chrysler Corporation was founded by Walter Chrysler from the remains of the Maxwell Motor Company in 1925. It was acquired by Daimler-Benz, and the holding company was renamed DaimlerChrysler, in 1998. After Daimler divested of Chrysler in 2007, the company existed as Chrysler LLC (2007–2009) and Chrysler Group LLC (2009–2014) before merging with Fiat S.p.A. and becoming a subsidiary of its successor Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2014. In addition to the flagship Chrysler brand, FCA sells vehicles worldwide under the Dodge, Jeep, and Ram nameplates. Furthermore, the subsidiary includes Mopar, its automotive parts and accessories division, and SRT, its performance automobile division.
During most of its post-war activity, Simca was one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in France. The Simca 1100 was for some time the best-selling car in France, while the Simca 1307 and Simca Horizon won the coveted European Car of the Year title in 1976 and 1978, respectively—these models were badge engineered as products of other marques in some countries. For instance the Simca 1307 was sold in Britain as the Chrysler Alpine, and the Horizon was also sold under the Chrysler brand.
The Simca 1100 is a car built from 1967 to 1982 by Simca. It was replaced by the Simca-Talbot Horizon.
The Simca 1307 was a large family car produced by Chrysler Europe and latterly PSA Peugeot Citröen from 1975 to 1986. Codenamed C6 in development the car was styled in the United Kingdom by Roy Axe and his team at Whitley and the car was engineered by Simca at Poissy in France.
The European Car of the Year award is an international award established in 1964, by a collective of automobile magazines from different countries in Europe. The current organisers of the award are Auto (Italy), Autocar, Autopista (Spain), Autovisie (Netherlands), L'Automobile Magazine (France), Stern (Germany) and Vi Bilägare (Sweden).
Simca vehicles were also manufactured by Simca do Brasil in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, and Barreiros (another Chrysler subsidiary) in Spain. They were also assembled in Australia, Chile [ citation needed ], Colombia and the Netherlands during the Chrysler era. In Argentina, Simca had a small partnership with Metalmecánica SAIC (more known as de Carlo) for the production of the Simca Ariane in 1965.
Simca do Brasil was a subsidiary of the now defunct French automaker Simca and started out in the late 1950s assembling the Simca Vedette imported in kit form from France and selling it in three versions, the Chambord, Présidence and Rallye. Later the Company manufactured the radically restyled Esplanada with improved engines and, with increasing control by the Chrysler Group over the French concern, was taken over by the American car giant as majority share holder. During its ten years of market presence Simca defended its market share against fierce competition from Volkswagen, Ford, Chevrolet and Willys. The brand disappeared from the Brazilian Market in the late 1960s following a strategic decision by its owners Chrysler.
São Bernardo do Campo is a Brazilian municipality in the state of São Paulo. It is part of the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo. The population is 816,925 in an area of 409.51 km².
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. The capital is Brasília, and the most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.
Henri Théodore Pigozzi was active in the automotive business in the early 1920s when he met Fiat founder, Giovanni Agnelli. They began business together in 1922 with Pigozzi acting as a scrap merchant, buying old automobile bodies and sending them to Fiat for recycling.Two years later Pigozzi became Fiat's General Agent in France, and in 1926 SAFAF (Société Anonyme Française des Automobiles Fiat) was founded. In 1928, SAFAF started the assembly of Fiat cars in Suresnes near Paris, and licensed the production of some parts to local suppliers. By 1934, as many as 30,000 Fiat cars were sold by SAFAF.
Giovanni Agnelli was an Italian entrepreneur, who founded Fiat car manufacturing in 1899.
A General Agent is an agent, i.e., representative of another, who has a mandate of general nature.
The SIMCA (Société Industrielle de Mécanique et de Carrosserie Automobile) company was founded in 1935 by FIAT, when Fiat bought the former Donnet factory in the French town of Nanterre.
Donnet was a French manufacturing company of the early twentieth century. Founded as Société des Établissements Donnet-Denhaut by Jérôme Donnet and François Denhaut at Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1914, the firm manufactured a highly successful line of patrol flying boats for the French Navy. The company became known simply as Donnet after designer Denhaut left it in 1919, but did not continue to build aircraft for long afterwards.
Nanterre is a commune in the Hauts-de-Seine department, the western suburbs of Paris. It is located some 11 km (6.8 mi) north-west of the centre of Paris.
The first cars produced were Fiat 508 Balillas and Fiat 518 Arditas, but with Simca-Fiat 6CV and 11CV badges. They were followed during 1936 by the Simca Cinq or 5CV, a version of the Fiat Topolino announced in the Spring, but only available for sale from October 1936. The Huit, an 8CV version of the Fiat 508C-1100, appeared in 1937. Production of the 6CV and 11CV stopped in 1937, leaving the 5CV and the 8CV in production until the outbreak of World War II. The firm nevertheless remained closely connected with Fiat, and it was not until 1938 that the shortened name "Simca" replaced "Simca-Fiat".
The 508 Balilla was a compact car designed and developed by Fiat in 1932. It was, effectively, the replacement of the Fiat 509, although production of the earlier model had ceased back in 1929. It had a three-speed transmission, seated four, and had a top speed of about 50 mph (80 km/h). It sold for 10,800 lire. About 113,000 were produced.
The Fiat 518, also called Fiat Ardita, was a model of car produced by Italian car manufacturer Fiat between 1933 and 1938. The name "Ardita" was also used on the six-cylinder engined and more expensive Fiat Ardita 2500 or 527.
The Simca 5 is a small Franco-Italian passenger car designed, by Fiat engineers at Turin. It was produced and sold in France by Simca. It was virtually identical to the Fiat 500 Topolino on which it was based, but was first presented, at the company's new Nanterre plant, three months ahead of the Fiat equivalent on 10 March 1936. Production was delayed, however, by a wave of strikes, that accompanied the June 1936 electoral victory of Léon Blum's Popular Front government. The manufacturer boasted at the time of its launch of being ahead of the "plans across the Rhine": this was a reference to the already rumoured launch of the Volkswagen Beetle which would appear only in 1938.
Of the businesses that emerged as France's big four auto-makers after the war, Simca was unique in not suffering serious bomb damage to its plant.There were persistent suggestions that Henri Pigozzi's close personal relationship with the Agnelli family (which owned Fiat) and Fiat's powerful political influence with the Mussolini government in Italy secured relatively favourable treatment for Simca during the years when France fell under the control of Italy's powerful ally, Germany. Despite France being occupied, Simca cars continued to be produced in small numbers throughout the war.
Following the 1944 liberation, the company’s close association with Italy became an obvious liability in the feverish atmosphere of recrimination and new beginnings that swept France following four years of German occupation. Nevertheless, shortly after the liberation the Nanterre plant's financial sustainability received a boost when Simca won a contract from the American army to repair large numbers of Jeep engines.
On 3 January 1946 the new government’s five-year plan for the automobile industry (remembered, without affection, as the Pons Plan) came into force.Government plans for Simca involved pushing it into a merger with various smaller companies such as Delahaye-Delage, Bernard, Laffly and Unic so as to create an automobile manufacturing combine to be called “Générale française automobile” (GFA). With half an eye on the Volkswagen project across the Rhine, the authorities determined that GFA should produce the two door version of the “AFG”, a small family car that had been developed during the war by the influential automobile engineer, Jean-Albert Grégoire. Grégoire owed his influence to a powerfully persuasive personality and a considerable engineering talent. Regarding the future of the French automobile industry, Grégoire held strong opinions, two of which favoured front-wheel drive and aluminium as a material for car bodies. A few weeks after the liberation Grégoire joined the Simca board as General Technical Director, in order to prepare for the production of the AFG at the company’s Nanterre factory.
For Simca, faced with a determinedly dirigiste left-wing French government, the prospect of nationalisation seemed very real.(Renault had already been confiscated and nationalised by the government at the start of 1945.) Simca’s long standing (but Italian born) Director General, Henri Pigozzi, was obliged to deploy his very considerable reserves of guile and charm in order to retain his own position within the company, and it appears that in the end Pigozzi owed his very survival at Simca to the intervention with the national politicians of his new board room colleague, Jean-Albert Grégoire. In return, Grégoire obtained the personal commitment of the surviving Director General to the production at Nanterre of his two-door AFG.
It is very easy to see how the two-door AFG looked, because its four-door equivalent went into production, little changed from Grégoire’s prototype, as the Panhard Dyna X. It was a car designed by an engineer, and Pigozzi thought it ugly. In trying to make it more appealing to the style conscious car buyers who, it was hoped, would appear in Simca showrooms once the economy picked up and government restrictions on car ownership began to be relaxed, Simca designers took the underpinnings of the Grégoire prototype and clothed it with various more conventionally modern bodies, the last of which looked uncannily similar to a shortened Peugeot 203.This “Simca-Grégoire” performed satisfactorily in road tests in France and around Turin (home town of Fiat who still owned Simca), and by September 1946 the car was deemed ready for production. But Pigozzi was still cautious. He had little enthusiasm for the gratuitously unfathomable complexities involved in producing a mass-market front-wheel drive car. The experience of the Citroën Traction Avant, which had bankrupted its manufacturer in the mid-1930s, was not encouraging. Pigozzi therefore applied to the (at this stage still strongly interventionist) government for a far higher level of government subsidy than the government could contemplate. Both the “Simca-Grégoire” project and the government’s own enthusiasm for micro-managing the French automobile industry were by now running out of momentum. Sensing that there was no prospect of putting the “Simca-Grégoire” into production any time soon, General Technical Director Grégoire resigned from the company early in 1947.
Meanwhile, at the first Paris Motor Show since the end of the war, in October 1946, two models were on display on the Simca stand, being the Simca 5 and the Simca 8, at this stage barely distinguishable from their pre-war equivalents. A new car arrived in 1948 with the Simca 6, a development of the Simca 5 which it would eventually replace, and featuring an overhead valve 570 cc engine: the Simca 6 was launched ahead of the introduction of the equivalent Fiat.
The French economy in this period was in a precarious condition and government pressure was applied on the auto-makers to maximize export sales. During the first eight months of 1947, Simca exported 70% of cars produced, placing it behind Citroen (92% exported), Renault (90% exported), Peugeot (87% exported) and Ford France (83% exported). In the struggle to maximize exports, Simca was handicapped by the fact that it could not compete with its principal Italian shareholder, Fiat.
The Simca Aronde, launched in 1951, was the first Simca model not based on a Fiat design. It had a 1200 cc engine and its production reached 100,000 units yearly. Following this success, Simca took over the French truck manufacturers Unic in 1951, Saurer in 1956, and the Poissy plant of Ford SAF in 1954. The Poissy plant had ample room for expansion, enabling Simca to consolidate French production in a single plant and, in 1961, to sell the old Nanterre plant.
The 1950s was a decade of growth for Simca, and by 1959 the combined output of the plants at Nanterre and at Poissy had exceeded 225,000 cars, placing the manufacturer in second place among French automakers in volume terms, ahead of Peugeot and Citroën, though still far behind market leader Renault.
The Ford purchase also added the V-8 powered Ford Vedette range to the Simca stable. This model continued to be produced and progressively upgraded until 1962 in France and 1967 in Brazil, but with various names under the Simca badge. An Aronde-powered version was also made in 1957 and called the Ariane which, because it was economical and had a large body, was popular as a taxi.
In 1958 Simca bought Talbot-Lago.
The Simca plant received a visit by Juscelino Kubitschek before his inauguration in 1956, organized by a Brazilian General who had a family member employed there. He jokingly invited Simca to build a plant in Minas Gerais, his home state. Simca followed through and sent a letter of intent to this effect.In the interim, Brazil had formed an Executive Group for the Automotive Industry (GEIA), which had established a set of requirements for any producer wishing to establish a plant in Brazil. Simca claimed that their proposal and arrangement with Kubitschek pre-dated these rules and lobbied for exceptions. Simca also lobbied directly in Minas, but in the end were forced to present their own proposal, which was accepted with a number of conditions. The delays in passing the GEIA rules meant that Simca, which established its first plant in São Paulo, was unable to access hard currency and suffered severe parts shortages as a result. Simca quickly developed a reputation for low quality which it was unable to shake.
Simca do Brasil was originally 50% Brazilian-owned, but after Chrysler took over Simca France in 1966 they also obtained control of the Brazilian arm. liter V8-engined Simca Vedette, which entered production in Brazil in March 1959. It was built under a variety of names and in a number of different bodystyles, until the Simca badge was retired there in 1969. Later models were redesigned completely, and were sold as the Simca Esplanada.Simca remained based in São Paulo for the entire time they were active in Brazil and never moved to Minas, as originally promised. Their range was built around the 2.4
The Simca Fulgur was a concept car designed in 1958 by Robert Opron for Simca and first displayed at the 1959 Geneva Auto Show.It was also displayed at the New York Auto Show, and the 1961 Chicago Auto Show. The concept car was intended to show what cars in the year 2000 would look like. It was to be atomic powered, voice controlled, guided by radar, and use only two wheels balanced by gyroscopes when driven at over 150 kph. Fulgur is Latin for flash or lightning. Another translation is lensman.
In 1958, the American car manufacturer Chrysler Corporation, which wanted to enter the European car market, bought 15% of Simca from Ford in a deal which Henry Ford II was later reported as having publicly regretted.At this stage, however, the dominant shareholder remained Fiat, and their influence is apparent in the engineering and design of Simcas of that period such as the 1000 and 1300 models introduced respectively in 1961 and 1963. However, in 1963 Chrysler increased their stake to a controlling 64% by purchasing stock from Fiat, and they subsequently extended that holding further to 77%. Even in 1971 Fiat retained a 19% holding, but by now they had long ceased to play an active role in the business.
Also, in 1964 Chrysler bought the British manufacturer Rootes thus putting together the basis of Chrysler Europe. mph (180 km/h), making it the fastest standard production Simca ever built. In 1967 a much more up to date car, the 1100, appeared with front wheel drive and independent suspension all round, and continued in production until 1979. On 1 July 1970 the company title was formally changed to Chrysler France.All the Simca models manufactured after 1967 had the Chrysler pentastar logo as well as Simca badging. In 1961 Simca started to manufacture all of its models in the ex-Ford SAF factory in Poissy and sold the factory at Nanterre to Citroën. The rear-engined Simca 1000 was introduced in 1961 with its sporting offspring, the Simca-Abarth in 1963. The 1000 also served as the platform for the 1000 Coupe, a sports coupe sporting a Bertone-designed body by Giorgetto Giugiaro and 4-wheel disc brakes. It debuted in 1963 and was described by Car Magazine as "the world's neatest small coupe". 1967 saw the more powerful 1200S Bertone Coupe that, with a horsepower upgrade in 1970, could reach the dizzying speed of almost 112
The most successful pre-Chrysler Simca models were the Aronde, the Simca 1000 and the front-engined 1100 compact. During the 1970s Chrysler era, Simca produced the new Chrysler 160/180/2 litre saloon, 1307 range (Chrysler Alpine in the UK) and later the Horizon, (Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon in the USA). The 1307 and Horizon were both named European Car of the Year at launch. However, Chrysler's forced marriage of Simca and Rootes was not a happy one - Chrysler Europe collapsed in 1977 and the remains were sold to Peugeot the following year. The Rootes models were quickly killed off, and the Simca-based Alpine/1307 and Horizon soldiered on through the first half of the 1980s using the resurrected Talbot badge, which itself had vanished from passenger cars within a decade as Peugeot expanded its own brand and built its Peugeot-badged cars in the former Simca and Rootes factories, although the brand survived in the 1990s on commercial vehicles.
Peugeot eventually abandoned the Talbot brand, and the last Simca design was launched as Peugeot 309 (instead of Talbot Arizona as had been originally planned). The Peugeot 309 used Simca engines until October 1991 (some 18 months before the end of production) when they were replaced by PSA's own TU and XU series of engines. The 309 was produced at the former Rootes factory in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, UK, as well as in the Poissy plant.
Simcas were also manufactured in Brazil, Colombia, Spain and Finland. The last Simca-based car produced was the Horizon-based Dodge Omni, which was built in the USA until 1990. The European equivalent had already been axed three years earlier when use of the Talbot name on passenger cars was finally discontinued.
The Peugeot 309 is a small family car that was manufactured between 1985 and 1994 in England, Spain and France by PSA Peugeot Citroën. It was originally intended to be badged as a Talbot and, as development progressed, to be called the Talbot Arizona. It was the replacement for the Talbot Horizon, which had started life as a Chrysler in Britain and a Simca in France, and was also being built in several guises for the American market.
Talbot or Clément-Talbot Limited was a London automobile manufacturer founded in 1903. Clément-Talbot's products were named just Talbot from shortly after introduction, but the business remained Clément-Talbot Limited until 1938 when it was renamed Sunbeam-Talbot Limited. The founders, Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury and Adolphe Clément-Bayard, reduced their financial interests in their Clément-Talbot business during the First World War.
The Horizon is a family hatchback developed by Chrysler Europe and sold in Europe between 1978 and 1987 under the Chrysler, Simca, and Talbot nameplates. Derivative variants of the Horizon were manufactured and marketed by Chrysler in the United States and Canada as the Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon until 1990. After the sale of Chrysler Europe to Peugeot in 1978, the European cars were only further sold as Talbots, and though largely identically bodied as American Chryslers, the cars led relatively unrelated production lives, almost from the start, on each side of the ocean.
The Talbot Samba is a city car manufactured by the PSA Group in the former Simca factory in Poissy, France, and marketed under the short-lived modern-day Talbot brand from 1981 to 1986. Based on the Peugeot 104, it was the only Talbot not inherited from Chrysler Europe, engineered by PSA alone. It was also the last new Talbot to be launched. Its demise in 1986 was effectively the end of the Talbot brand for passenger cars. Launched initially as a three-door hatchback, it was also for some time the only small car available in a factory-ordered cabrio body style, and the most economical car in Europe.
Chrysler Europe was the American automotive company Chrysler's operations in Europe from 1967 through 1979. It was formed from the merger of the French Simca, British Rootes and Spanish Barreiros companies. In 1979, Chrysler divested these operations to PSA Peugeot Citroën.
The Simca Poissy engine, commonly known as the Simca 1100 engine, was a four-cylinder OHV engine developed by Simca for use in its superminis and economy cars, designed by the engineer Georges Martin. In spite of its common name, the engine actually predates the Simca 1100 model, and debuted in 1961 in the Simca 1000 Coupé. It was developed and produced by Simca in the late 1960s at the manufacturer's factory in Poissy, hence its name.
The Simca Vedette is a large car, manufactured from 1954 to 1961 by the French automaker Simca, at their factory in Poissy, France. It was marketed with different model names according to trim and equipment levels. The Vedette was Simca's largest model at that time and it spawned a more economical version, the Simca Ariane.
The Simca 1000 is a small, rear-engined, four-door saloon which was manufactured by the French automaker Simca from 1961 to 1978.
The Ford Vedette is a large car that was manufactured by Ford SAF in their Poissy plant from 1948-1954.
The Simca Ariane was a large saloon car launched in April 1957 by the French automaker Simca. It was manufactured in the company's factory at Poissy until 1963.
Ford SAF was the French subsidiary of the American automaker Ford Motor Company, which existed under various names between 1916 and 1954, when Ford sold the manufacturing business to Simca.
The Simca Aronde is an automobile which was manufactured by the French automaker Simca from 1951 to 1963. It was Simca's first original design, as well as the company's first unibody car. "/ Aronde -hirondelle" means "swallow" in Old French and it was chosen as the name for the model because Simca's logo at that time was a stylized swallow.
The Simca 8 is a small family car built by Simca and sold in France between November 1937 and 1951, available as a saloon, coupé or cabriolet. It was a rebadged Fiat 508C "nuova Balilla" made at Fiat's Simca plant in Nanterre, France.
1978 in motoring deals with developments in the automotive industry that occurred in 1978, listed by country. The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells motor vehicles.
The Ryton plant is a former car manufacturing plant in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire, England. Developed by the Rootes Group as a shadow factory in 1939 to produce aircraft engines for World War II, post war it became the headquarters of the group. Taken over by Peugeot in 1978, it shut in December 2006, and was subsequently redeveloped by Trenport Investments Ltd, for industrial use in March 2007.
France was a pioneer in the automotive industry and is the 11th-largest automobile manufacturer in the world by 2015 unit production and the third-largest in Europe. It had consistently been the 4th-largest from the end of World War II up to 2000.
The PSA Poissy plant is a French car plant belonging to PSA Peugeot Citroën located in Poissy, Yvelines. It is dedicated to the manufacturer's Platform 1 cars, which are cars in the subcompact class, with an annual output of approximately 200,000 cars.
Paul-Marie Pons was a French naval engineer who became a senior civil servant. He is remembered for the Pons Plan which restructured the French auto-industry in the second half of the 1940s.
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