The history of Berliet begins with the talented auto mechanic Maurice Berlie, the founder and ideologist of the automobile brand itself. As a mechanic, he learned everything on his own, and he assembled the first car back in 1894, at the dawn of the automotive era. By 1900, on the account of the mechanic from Lyon there were already 6 different cars. Together with Pierre Degoutte, they produced these machines under the brand name Pierre Berliet 23/70 CV Desgouttes. Equipped with 2 and 4 liter engines with power up to 12 hp brought the model great popularity. The British company Sunbeam even acquired a license to produce one of these cars.
In 1901, the company's industrial base was significantly expanded through the acquisition of Audibert et Lavirotte. As a result, a new car model was launched under the Berliet brand. Its design resembled a Daimler Mercedes. The car was enjoyed by consumers because of the sturdy metal chassis frame and many additional improvements.
In 1906, the locomotive giant American Locomotive Company acquired a license for the production of cars under the Berliet brand. From this moment a new milestone begins in the history of the company. Having received as much as 500 thousand dollars in gold equivalent, Maurice Berlie buys new equipment and prepares an assembly line. The same deal allowed to change the car logo. Now the locomotive was on the main icon.
In 1906, new trucks also appeared. In addition, the open racing direction began to bear fruit. In 1907, the volume of production of cars exceeded 1,000 units and the company entered the 7 largest French automakers.
The 1910th year brought new victories, now on the field of small cars. The company launched a model with a 1.5 liter engine for 12 horsepower. Before the start of World War I, the company's product range consisted mainly of passenger cars with engine power of 8-60 hp. The most common engine displacement is 2.4 and 4.4 liters. During the war, the company redesigned to produce trucks and tanks for the front.
In the postwar years, Berliet continued to develop new cars and produce pre-war models with new engines and a reinforced body. In addition, several completely new models were introduced with significantly improved technical characteristics, for example the Berliet 23/70 CV.
In 1924, the company's priority shifted towards the production of trucks, the requirements for changes of which were lower than in the passenger car market. Annually emerging innovations forced car manufacturers to invest heavily in the continuous improvement of machine tools and assembly lines. Nevertheless, the company released the Berliet 7CV model with an engine capacity of 1.8 and 4.0 liters. A great merit in the competent policy of the company belongs to its founder, who always felt "where the wind is blowing."
In 1933, Berliet almost completely abandoned the production of cars. Innovations in the last two models were independent front wheel suspension and rack and pinion steering. In 1936, the latest Berliet Dauphine passenger car model was developed. Since 1939, the company specializes exclusively in the production of trucks.
1978 Berliet TR 350 La Centaure
Berliet GBH 260 6x4 1979
1968 Berliet PCMRE