The history of Peugeot in the Netherlands
Jacob Verweij, a businessman from The Hague, discovered his passion for Peugeot when he saw a Peugeot car win the Paris-Rouen motor race in 1894. After gaining some initial practical experience in the Peugeot factories in Sochaux, he imported a Peugeot 3 HP into the Netherlands in 1898, and, in partnership with Barend Lugard, became the Dutch representative for the Peugeot brand.
By 1900, there were 117 registered cars in the country, 14 of which were Peugeots. In 1903, 26% of all the cars in the Netherlands was a Peugeot.
Car ownership and the popularity of the Peugeot brand grew exponentially in the Low Countries, but in 1913 Verweij & Lugard lost their import rights, and a succession of other entrepreneurs started to import Peugeots. During the First World War, car sales sank to their lowest level to date.
A well-known player in the Dutch automobile market stepped in to recover the situation. The Nefkens brothers firm, founded in 1878 and based in Utrecht since 1917, developed to become one of the most successful Peugeot representatives in the Netherlands. In 1929, the brothers sold 161 Peugeots, and their efforts paid off in 1933, when the firm was appointed as the official Peugeot importer for the Dutch market. Before the outbreak of the Second World War, more than 1750 Peugeots were sold in the Netherlands. As time passed, sales continued to increase, and in 1968 the brand passed the annual sales milestone of 10,000 Peugeots. Between 1938 and 1962, there was also a second Peugeot importer active in the Dutch market. While Nefkens looked after all Peugeot owners in the north, Nijmegen firm Van den Boogaard supplied cars to drivers in the south.
In 1982, the Dutch Peugeot organization as we know it today was created as a result of the takeover of the import arm of Nefkens by Automobiles Peugeot. The automobile market continued to grow steadily, and thanks to the success of models such as the 308 (SW) and the 2008, Peugeot was the second highest-selling car brand in the Netherlands in 2015. To this day, Peugeot guarantees its customers an unrivaled driving experience, sleek design and uncompromising quality — characteristics that contribute to the emotions awakened by each Peugeot. Represented in almost 160 countries by a network of more than 10,000 sales points, Peugeot sold 1,710,000 cars worldwide in 2015, representing growth of 4.6% on the previous year’s figures. Peugeot combines motion and emotion in all aspects of design, with the ultimate ambition of becoming a high-volume global brand with a premium reputation. From its humble beginnings in 1889, the brand reached a historic new milestone at the start of 2016 when the 2008 DKR won* the Dakar rally.
* Subject to appeal.