Car News / Lifestyle

Car Companies Before They Made Cars

Most automakers used to make cars from day one, but others started with entirely different things. We look back at the history of existing automobile manufacturers before they decided it was time to make vehicles.

First automobile ever made

Courtesy heacockclassic


Year founded: 1862 | Country: Germany

Automobile Brands Before They Made Cars

Courtesy Pinterest

In 1862, the German company was initially founded as a sewing machine manufacturer that made bicycles in 1886 before making its first car in 1899. Fast forward to 1913, Opel became the biggest car company in Germany, and by 1930, the biggest in Europe. As of 2014, Opel sold 1.095 million passenger cars worldwide. Today, it is now under a subsidiary of Groupe PSA.

 It is no surprise that the Deutschland company always has the future in sight.  Check out our review on the future-ready German city car – Opel Corsa supermini right here.

Opel Corsa supermini


Year founded: 1810 | Country: France

Automobile Brands Before They Made Cars

Courtesy TorontoStar

Starting as coffee makers and moving on to bicycles, Peugeot has soldiered on until the present. Shortly after manufacturing bicycles, the company turned their attention to salt, pepper, and coffee grinders before producing cars in 1882.

Over the last decade, the French automobile giants have sold over 30,000 cars catering to consumers’ growing demands and expectations. 2021 seems to be an interesting year so far as they released the Peugeot 508 sedan. Feeling French? Check out our review of the 508 Sedan here.

2021 Peugeot 508


Year founded: 1967 | Country: South Korea

Automobile Brands Before They Made Cars

Long before Hyundai started selling cars, it was considered an engineering company. They played a part in large scale commercial construction, building cranes, shipbuilding, electronics, and even had a chain of department stores. Jack of all trades huh?

Only around 1975, Hyundai started manufacturing cars. One of which you might be familiar with is the Hyundai Tucson. We took the liberty of bringing you a review of the fourth generation Tucson. And I must say, it looks different – in a good way, of course.

2022 Hyundai Tucson


Year founded: 1922 | Country: United Kingdom

Automobile Brands Before They Made Cars

Courtesy sunday times driving

Previously known as Swallow Sidecar Company – a manufacturer of, well, motorcycle sidecars. The company only expanded its efforts to cars, becoming SS Cars Limited in the 1930s. 

As the name was too similar to the infamous SS of the Nazi regime, the company had no choice but to change the name from SS Cars Limited to Jaguar. The Jaguar XK120 was, in fact, their breakthrough model. It was widely known throughout the globe as the fastest car in the world at the time.

If you, too, are looking for some pace, you should check out Jaguar’s most popular car in Singapore. We covered all you need to know on the Jaguar F-Pace SUV right here.

2021 Jaguar F-Pace


Year founded: 1916 | Country: Germany

Automobile Brands Before They Made Cars

Courtesy Ride Apart

BMW is among the most esteemed German automobile manufacturing companies around. They are world-renowned for providing drivers with the best possible driving experience. But did you know this company was largely an aeroplane manufacturing and motorcycle firm before they ever sold cars? 

The company was established in 1916 and has now been in operation for more than 104 years. A treaty stipulated that caused the Bavarian company to be banned from making warplanes and warplane engines. Therefore, BMW shifted to making motorcycles up until 1928, when they began manufacturing automobiles.

Interestingly, the BMW M1 was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro who was also responsible for making the legendary DeLorean from the Back to the Future films. Alright, enough about the past. You should set your sights on the future. Why not start by checking out our review of this iX3 here!

2021 BMW iX3


Toyota DescriptionToyota Loom

Toyota’s origins lie in the Japanese weaving industry when Sakichi Toyoda invented the world’s first automatic loom and subsequently set up the Toyoda Spinning and Weaving Company in 1918. The loom impressed a British Company – the Platt Brothers, so much that in 1929 they bought the production and sales rights for £100,000.

Sakichi’s son Kiichiro eventually inherited those rights and further proceeded to develop automotive technology at Toyoda. This led to the launch of the Company’s first-ever passenger car in 1936 – the Model AA. And in 1937, the Toyota Motor Company was born.

Toyota First Car


Today, Toyota has a selection of vehicles that includes a wide range of designs and features to meet the needs of all types of drivers. They have built a reputation for producing reliable quality vehicles. Perhaps this video might give you a better perspective.


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