French car brands are recognized as some of the best in the world. From sleek and stylish luxury car companies like Bugatti to everyday icons like Peugeot, there’s no shortage of French automakers to admire. There are also plenty of fantastic French car brand logos.
Like countless companies across the globe, French car brands rely on the power of their logos to not only identify their vehicles but connect with their audience. Of course, unless you’re a diehard fan of the top French innovators, you may not know what each logo stands for.
The French car logos we’re going to cover today all have their own unique appeal, and fantastic way of capturing the hearts and minds of automobile fans. Like all logos, these French car brands use a combination of colors, shapes, and typography to convey exceptional meaning.
Today, we’re going to be giving you a behind the scenes look at the French auto manufacturing industry. In this list of French cars, we’ll discuss some of the top French car companies, what they do, and what kind of brand image they use.
Luxury car brands from France
Luxury car brands from France are in no short supply. France is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, with a wide selection of vehicles to offer, including electronic cars from Venturi to incredible stylish vehicles from Bugatti.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the luxury French automakers you may be familiar with…
Founded by Ettore Bugatti in 1909, Bugatti is one of the better-known automobile companies in the world. This incredible company produced a number of fantastic vehicles over the years, and remains strong to this day, despite the owner tragically passing away in 1939.
Bugatti can either be classed as a luxury vehicle, or as one of the only “performance” car brands from France.
The Bugatti logo has stayed consistent for the entire life of the company, showcasing the name of the company in bold white font, on a red oval background. According to some, the 60 dots surrounding the Bugatti oval represent safety wires on early Bugatti models.
Others believe the dots are gem, representing Ettore’s definition of his vehicles as “fine jewels.”
Find out more about the Bugatti logo here.
Another unforgettable name on our list of French cars, Venturi first appeared in 1984, founded by two innovative engineers, Claude Poiraud and Gerard Godfroy. The pair created the company in an effort to compete in the Grande Tourisme market.
Today, the business is well-known for producing the first electric sports car in the world.
Venturi’s logo has changed significantly over the years. Today, it represents the futuristic vision of the company, with a sleek red “V” stylized to look like a bird on a black background. The name “Venturi” appears in all capital, thin sans-serif letters above the “V”.
Defined by most as a “premium” automobile manufacturer, DS Automobiles was created by the Citroën brand in 2009 before it spun off to become a standalone company in 2015.
Today, DS is working towards a portfolio of electric-only four-wheel-drive vehicles and hybrid cars starting from 2025, making it a more eco-friendly brand.
The logo for DS Automobiles is clean as simple, showcasing a stylized version of the monogram “DS.” The letters look to be shaped out of metal and create a unique shape with the way they almost connect at certain points.
Sports car brands from France
France is better-known for its mass-market vehicle brands and the impeccable Bugatti. However, there are a handful of reputable sports car companies from the country too. Many of these iconic French cars have thrived in the market for a number of decades.
Let’s take a closer look at some sports-related French car logos…
Not to be confused with the German brand, Alpina, the “Automobiles Alpine” organization was founded in 1955 by Jean Rédélé,. The Alpine competition department eventually merged into Renault’s Sports division in 1976, and the production of Alpine-badge models ceased as a result.
The logo of the Alpine sports brand was wonderfully sophisticated, featuring the letter “A” with a stylized line through the center. The angular design of the letter, combined with the fact it was tilting forward helped to create a sense of speed.
At the time of writing, the Alpine badge has been resurrected by the Renault F1 Team.
An interesting addition to our list of French car brands, Ligier actually produces a range of vehicles, including minibuses and quad bikes. The company was created by Guy Ligier, a rugby player, and former racing driver.
The Ligier company is best known for its involvement in the Formula 1 World Championship between 1976 and 1996.
Ligier users a combination of a wordmark and graphic for its logo. The wordmark is an eye-catching design in bold font, with two lower-case “I’s”. There’s also a set of two flags, one is the French flag, the other is the racing flag, one is crossed atop the other over the Ligier wordmark.
Better-known as “PGO”, PGO Automobiles is a French producer of vehicles for the sports car industry. The brand operates in the same focused market as Wiesmann, and collectors consider the vehicles to be the perfect combination of individuality and style.
Launched initially in the 1980s by three automobile fans, PGO began producing manufacturing replicas but quickly moved onto substantiating full-scale vehicles. The logo for the company features a shield with the letters “PGO” and three lines across the center.
Mass market car brands from France
Mass market car brands are perhaps some of the most common in France. The elegant vehicles produced by French automakers have attracted attention around the globe from all kinds of buyers. Every year, millions of vehicles are delivered both to customers in the country and overseas.
Let’s take a closer look at these French car company logos…
One of the many memorable car brands featuring an animal in its logo, Peugeot was initially introduced into the French market in 1896 by the Peugeot brothers. Ranked among the oldest car companies in France, Peugeot was responsible for designing the first car powered by an internal combustion engine.
Today, Peugeot produces a range of economical and luxury vehicles.
The Peugeot logo is one of the more memorable on this list, evoking similar feelings to brands like Ferrari and Porsche. The head of a lion appears within a bold black shield, highlighting the power of the brand, its sophistication, and heritage.
Learn more about the Peugeot logo here.
Another of the better-known French car logos globally, Renault is a popular brand for countless consumers in search of reliability and style. Designed by The Renault brothers in 1899, the Renault company is another of the older car manufacturers from France.
Cars with the Renault logo are sold across 120 counties worldwide today, offering excellent budget-friendly performance.
Renault’s logo has evolved several times over the years. The best-known image today is an evolution of the famous “rhombus” symbol first introduced in the 1960s. This sleek and eye-catching image is a unique alternative to many car brands, who use their name as a logo.
Learn more about the Renault logo here.
It’s hard to find anyone in France or elsewhere who hasn’t heard of the Citroën car brand. The company is one of the many automakers owned by Stellantis today, but it first appeared in 1919, more than 100 years ago.
The founder, Andre Citroën, created one of the first cars to be mass-produced with access to front-wheel drive and four-wheel independent suspension.
Citroën is an innovator in its industry, responsible for the world’s first hydropneumatics self-levelling suspension system, as well as the first use of a unibody construction for cars.
The logo of the brand represents this forward-thinking ideology, with two upward-pointing arrows next to the brand’s wordmark.
Learn more about the Citroën logo here.
Not quite as old as some of the major French car brands on this list, but still extremely popular, Dacia first emerged in 1966 as a Romanian automaker. Today, it’s often listed alongside other leading French car companies because it belongs to the French Renault Group.
The company is better known for producing a wide range of passenger cars and vehicles.
Like many of the top car brands in the world, Dacia keeps things sleek and simple with its logo choice. The current emblem in use is a stylized version of the company’s name, designed to almost look like a series of shapes.
Otherwise known as Aixam-Mega, this French automobile manufacturer was created in 1983 to produce microcars following the purchase of Arola. The company traces its history back to the development of Arola in 1975.
Today, fans of Aixam love the subcompact and ultra-light vehicles the brand can produce. The company also creates commercial vehicles.
Aixam’s logo appears in various locations throughout the world, including France, Europe, and North America. The logo features a letter “A” in silver in a blue circle with a red and silver outline. The name “Aixam” also appears in bold capital letters.
While most people use the term “Microcar” to refer to a genre of vehicles, it’s also the name of a car brand from France. The company appeared in 1984 as a division of the Beneteau group and began producing a series of lightweight and compact vehicle.
The company moved its production to a new plant in 2000 and was acquired by Ligier Automobiles in 2008.
The Microcar logo was a simple wordmark placed on a red oval. The design of the oval was intended to convey depth and dimension, with the use of gradients to create shine and shadow.
This image may not be as well-known today as some of the other French car logos on this list, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Defunct car brands from France
While many of the French automakers listed here have continued to maintain their value and impact to this day, some haven’t quite stood the test of time. Like automobile creators from around the world, a handful of French car companies have either ceased to exist because they were bought out, or because they simply couldn’t compete any longer.
Here are some of the defunct car brands from France you might be aware of…
One of the better-known defunct car brands from France, Panhard et Levassor, actually lasted for a decent amount of time, between 1887 and 2012. The company was launched by Emile Levassor and Rene Panhard and was one of the first manufactures of cars with combustion engines.
This business was best-known for creating sports and racing cars, as well as military equipment and limousines.
The Panhard & Levassor Company had a stylish and luxurious-looking logo. The emblem featured a monogram of “P” and “L” interlaced in the middle of a black circle in yellow font.
The wording “Panhard & Levassor”, and “Federation Des Clubs” could also be seen in the bordering surrounding the main emblem.
Operating between 1899 and 1978, Berliet was a creator of buses, automobiles, military vehicles, trucks, and other vehicles in France. The company was in private ownership for most of its life before it became part of Citroen and was subsequently acquired by Renault in the 70s.
The brand eventually merged to become part of the new Renault Trucks Company.
Berliet’s logo was an interesting design featuring a rectangle, circle, and triangle arranged together with the triangle’s tip pointing downwards. At a glance, the image looks a little like a spinning top.
This design was surprisingly modern given the long history of the brand.
Corre La Licorne
Somewhat lesser known than many of the French car brands we’ve covered so far, Corre La Licorne began producing vehicles in 1901 with the development of a series of lightweight cars. The company officially created its first car in 1906, at the same time the founder left the company.
The most compact model of the company stayed in production until 1912.
The Corre La Licorne logo is brimming with history. The image is one of the few in the automobile industry to feature a unicorn as the mythical creature standing in its emblem. The unicorn is presented on a red circular background, with a white border, where “La Licorne” is depicted.
Referred to either as Talbot or Clément-Talbot Limited, this French and British vehicle brand launched in 1903. The company produced a wide number of vehicles over the years, staying active to 1994.
This company was one of the longest-lasting brands in the French automobile market. Eventually, ownership of the marque was passed to Peugeot.
The Talbot logo was a simple but effective image, presenting a 3D version of the letter ‘T’ in white and deep blue on a red circular background. The use of red, white, and blue as the primary colors for this logo was likely to showcase both the French and English flags.
Delage is a French company which ran between the years of 1905 and 1953, producing a series of stylish racing cars and executive vehicles. The company primarily focused on building fast cars for drivers in competitions, as well as upper-class customers in France.
The company was officially shut down in 1953 but was recreated in 2019.
The Delage logo is a simple, eye-catching image, featuring the name of the company in a stylized serif font. The all-capital letters of the name are designed to fill the surface area of the background blue oval, which is surrounded by a white border.
Despite disappearing in 1970, Simca is a surprisingly well-known French car brand. The company originally emerged in 1934, with the support of Fiat, and remained affiliated with Fiat for most of its life.
In the 1970s, the company was taken over by the Chrysler brand, and was eventually taken over again by PSA in 1979.
The Simca logo is one of the more unusual in the vehicle branding world. The image is extremely bright and colorful, featuring a white bird on a blue rectangle, above a speech-bubble style shape in bright pink.
The name “Simca” is depicted in all-capital white letters on the speech bubble shape.
Another company with a decent amount of heritage, particularly among automobile collectors, Facel Vega was a French manufacturer of automobile components, usually made with pressed steel. Eventually, the company began producing its own complete automobiles.
This French car company first launched in 1939 and had excellent success for some time. Unfortunately, the Facel factory still closed its doors in 1964.
The Facel Vega logo is one of the many vehicle logos in the world today using stars as a primary part of its design. The image features the letters “F” and “V” as well as the words “Facel Vega, Paris”, on a circular badge.
The badge includes patches of yellow and black, as well as a series of 6 black stars.
Hommell was a French automobile manufacturer launched in 1990 by founder Michel Hommell, a former racing car driver, and the owner of his own car magazine. The company quickly produced an exciting new sports car prototype on its introduction in 1990, which was well-received by the public at the 1990 Paris Salon.
Unfortunately, despite this, the company eventually stopped operation in 2003.
The Hommell logo is an interesting one for our list of French car brands. This image featured three pieces of wheat on a blue circular background with a golden circle. The image was perhaps intended to demonstrate the “homegrown” nature of the company and create a sense of affinity with local buyers.
Celebrating vehicle manufacturers from France
Although France is widely regarded one of the top producers of vehicles in the world, the country’s selection of available cars is a little smaller than we’d see from other countries, like the US or UK.
However, France definitely makes up for a loss of quantity with plenty of quality.
French vehicle manufacturers are responsible for some of the most popular mass-market companies in the world, including Renault, Peugeot and Citroen. It’s also worth noting the country is home to one of the most famous luxury supercar makers in the world (Bugatti).
As you can see from this list of French car brands, not only does each company from France have its own unique appeal to offer car lovers, but each also has a memorable brand identity and image.
The French marketplace is filled with stunning emblems and symbols depicting a huge selection of attractive cars.
Remember, you can find out more about many of the cars on this list and discover vehicles from all over the world in the Fabrik Logofile.
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