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  1. #1
    Member Polyal's Avatar
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    Default Help needed from french enthusiasts!

    Hey guys,

    my gf is doing her thesis on how there is a french influence with regards to Australian capital culture. basically, she is researching the influence french products have with our buying habits.

    One area she is covering is Automotive. So what better place to get some info than from you guys.

    Ok, so the first question is, when did the french companies begin operations in Australia? Did they have some dealerships or was it kind of a grey import situation?

    Im sure there will be a few more questions along the way. If you want any further information regarding the topic then feel free to ask.

    We would greatly appreciate your help.

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    Allan and Sarah

  2. #2
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    French cars were available in Australia from the earliest days of motoring. Small companies would import small consignments. In the 1920's for example Squizzy Taylor the Melbourne gangster had a Peugeot. Peugeot stopped making right hand drive cars in 1929 but Renaults and Citroens were imported during the 1930's. It was after the war that French imports started big time. After the tentative import of a handful of Peugeot 202's, a large scale import of 203's hit the markets in 1950. The French were desperately short of hard currency and we were desperately short of motor vehicles. You had to wait months for a British car or years for an American one but you could have a 203 straight off the showroom floor. They sold 1450 Peugeots in 1950 which probably was their highest percentage market penetration ever. As well as the Citroens, Renaults and Simcas rarer French cars like Delahayes were available from firms like Jouberts Commonwealth Motors in Melbourne.
    Anyway the high point of French car penetration was when Renault took over the Continental and General Assembly Plant in Heidelberg and proceeded to assemble Renaults and Peugeots with over 50% local content. The less than favourable treatment of this operation by our government would make an interesting study. The Peugeot Car Club of Victoria probably has the best archive of any French car club and has many knowledgeable members who would undoubtedly be prepared to assist you.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! 604 tragic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polyal
    Hey guys,

    my gf is doing her thesis on how there is a french influence with regards to Australian capital culture. basically, she is researching the influence french products have with our buying habits.

    One area she is covering is Automotive. So what better place to get some info than from you guys.

    Ok, so the first question is, when did the french companies begin operations in Australia? Did they have some dealerships or was it kind of a grey import situation?

    Im sure there will be a few more questions along the way. If you want any further information regarding the topic then feel free to ask.

    We would greatly appreciate your help.

    Allan and Sarah
    I dont know if this is generally well known, but it certianly surprised me. The French are VERY big in our food production sector, especially dairy.

    About 4 years ago our son did a French exchange and the froggy teenager that came to stay with us told me all about it. (I think he had better English skills than my son!!)

    His dad was a bigwig in a Normanby dairy/cheese agribusiness that has extensive ownership of Aussie (US & NZ?) dairy firms. They are very big in Tasmania & own the King Island cheese firm & the firm that makes Colombo Soft Serve Yoghugt etc etc etc.

    I guess that most people wouldn't realise - as I think these French must practise 'soft touch' management & let the Aussie managers just get on with it. But it was a surprise to meet so many french business men & women at upper to senior management level in Melbourne ( who were keen to be seen 'checking up on' this kid).
    So many projects - so little time.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts The Gonz's Avatar
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    Default Australia - Almost French

    This very afternoon SBS Radio was discussing the launch of a new book on how Australia was very close to becoming a French colony in the 17' and 1800s. I recall the title was something like 'Australia Almost? French'.

    I expect the topics covered would serve well for your gf's thesis as reference material.

  5. #5
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    Default A piece of Australian motoring trivia

    Hi

    I heard this a little while ago and it was seperately confirmed BUT:

    "what is the longest continually available automobile brand in Australia?"


    - answer Citroen.

  6. #6
    Member Polyal's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies and PM's guys! Much appreciated....

    all the information is relevant..so dont hesitate to post some links up!

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    Default

    One source indicates no Citroens were imported between 1934 and 1939.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queenslander
    Hi

    I heard this a little while ago and it was seperately confirmed BUT:

    "what is the longest continually available automobile brand in Australia?"


    - answer Citroen.
    That's right, thanks to Continental cars and the Bunting's!
    407 3.0L Exclusive (2007)

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    Default longest selling Aust brand

    Quote Originally Posted by Uga Boga
    That's right, thanks to Continental cars and the Bunting's!
    ....YES - but not importing Citroen in those years doesn't mean that new ones weren't sold in that period...

  10. #10
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    I always find the old used car guides put out by Keith Winser a good clue to what was available but of course not infallible. He lists values for Citroens for 1934 and 1939, with the note that none were imported in the intervening years. Renaults were listed during the '30's but no Peugeots, although at least one right hand drive 202 seems to have arrived before the war. A good topic for a History research thesis, French cars in Australia between the wars.
    Edit: The Garage & Motor Trader (1955) agrees with the Winser guide, it lists Citroens for 1939 and 1940 but none for 1936-38.
    Last edited by Russell Hall; 21st September 2005 at 11:13 AM.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts mr bern's Avatar
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    Couple of attached photos taken at Birdwood Auto Museum in SA last week to remind everyone that (a) Peugeot is the world's second-oldest surviving auto mfr (b) they've been here for a while.

    French Island in Vic got its name because the French got there before Bass did, thus providing the impetus for the settlement of Melbourne, without which there'd be no grand final tomorrow ...
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    previously:
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    MY02 Clio 1.4L auto

    1ére grenouille:
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  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! Westair's Avatar
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    Most of the West Australian coasts bays, capes, points, islands are French names. Mainly from the Baudin expeditions as well as D'Entracasteaux etc.

    Albany was settled by the British only days ahead of a French plan to establish there.
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