The Big Car Database

Automoto Motorcycles

Fate Merged in 1930, brand ended in 1962
Successor Peugot
Founded 1902 in Saint-Étienne
Products Motorcycles Bicycles

Automoto was a French bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1902, which joined with the Peugeot group in 1930 and was fully absorbed by 1962.

Prior to World War II Automoto sourced engines from Chaise, Zurcher, JAP, and Villers Engines produced by Ateliers de Mécanique du Centre (AMC) were also used after 1945

Share of AUTOMOTO, issued 1. May 1924

Pioneer manufacturer Automoto built robust machines powered by proprietary engines from Blackburne, Chaise, Zurcher, JAP and Villiers, and after WWII mainly French AMC 250cc OHV engines and Aubier-Dunne two-strokes. Gearboxes supplied by Burman, Chaise, JAP and Peugeot.

Automoto built their own engines in the early years, and these were supplied to English manufacturer Acme. The factory merged with the Peugeot group in 1931 and manufacture ceased in 1962. The Automoto A17 was produced in 1930, 31, 32, 33 and possibly 1934.

The AL9 was produced in 1929, and from at least one report 1930. The A9 350cc SV was built 1929-1932

History Of Cycles Automoto

Cycles Automoto was a French maker of motorcycles and bicycles founded at the turn of the 20th century. Based in St Etienne it had Multiple factories. It produced well designed and good quality machines.

Automoto grew in popularity until merging with the Peugeot group in the early 60′s. Some of the factories are still standing to this day although no longer producing cycles or motorcycles.

French cycling design and manufacturing, to a large degree originated in Saint-Étienne. Popularly referred to as the “cycling capital of France”. The city gave rise to industry notables like Manufrance/Mavic, Motobécane and Vitus.

Today its Museum of Art and Industry hosts the largest public collection of bicycles in France, from early forerunners to contemporary prototypes.

The summer of 1889 brought together four Businessmen from Saint-Étienne  – Chavanet, Gros, Pichard and Cie

They formed a professional society named the “Société de Constructions Mécaniques de Cycles et Automobiles”. These men shared a passion for powered and unpowered mechanical transportation devices, at the time meaning bicycles, tricycles and quadricycles, and desired a forum to exchange ideas around them. After a decade of doing so, all the while refining various designs and coalescing as a team, they formed a limited company in 1901 named “Société Anonyme des Constructions Mécaniques de la Loire”, or CML.

Not until another decade passed, in 1910, did they assume their eventual name of Cycles Automoto.

Highly respected among the day’s other great marques – Alcyon, Clément, La Française, Gauloise, Hurtu, Peugeot – Automoto came to be a preferred ride of the racing elite.

It also responded to demand by expanding the Automoto catalog to include bicycles intended for a variety of applications only then being discovered by the riding public. In as complete an annual Automoto catalog as any on available record, 1952 product offeringsto the French market included: “grande”, “ballon”, “demi-ballon”, “tourisme”, “randonneur”, “demi-course”, “course” and “porteur” class bicycles, with many available in men’s and women’s models.

Automoto exposure to the U.S. bicycle market seems limited to the early ’50s.

The Automoto legacy ended abruptly in 1959 when Indénor, a subsidiary of Peugeot, purchased the Automoto brand and soon thereafter ceased production, further monopolizing previously overlapping lines of business. Only a decade earlier, when an Automoto advertisement boldly declared, “Le Triomphe De La Qualite Française”, few in sound conscience would have doubted the claim. Half a century removed from the politics and persuasions of those days, the Automoto mystique, that of utmost quality and workmanship, endures.

Even as fewer examples of Automoto bicycles exist, and those that do command unprecedented premiums in the marketplace, the company’s commercial artwork is enjoying renewed appreciation among urbanites and vintage bicycle, motorcycle enthusiasts.

Mr. Bernard Chaussinand, from Saint-Etienne (Loire, France) and author of 2 books about the Ecole Stéphanoise de Cyclotourisme delivers some details regarding the genesis of AUTOMOTO:

  • 1897:  Gros, Goudefer, Pichard, Chavanet, Pégout -each one bringing its “knowledge to make”, even their own productions create the Ateliers du Forez. 
  • 1898: Gros, Goudefer, Pichard register trade mark AUTOMOTO for cycle’s and car’s parts. 
  • 1899: Société de Construction Mécanique de cycles et automobiles Chavanet, Gros, Pichard et Cie.
  • 1901: Société anonyme de Construction Mécanique de la Loire AUTOMOTO anc.établ…
  • 1907: Setting in liquidation
  • 1908: the company starts again (abandonment of the car department) and becomes Société Anonyme Nouvelle de Construction de la Loire AUTOMOTO
  • Violet was the color of the mark in race.
  • After the First World War, in 1919, Automoto will belong to the consortium La Sportive, regrouping French marks including Peugeot, Hurtu, Alcyon, Automoto, Griffon, Liberator, Labor, La Française, Gladiator, Clément, Armor, Thomann.
  • Automoto stops in 1959 when Indénor, subsidiary of Peugeot, purchases the marks Automoto and Terrot.

Equivalent models Peugeot, Automoto, Griffon & Aiglon





A 14




A 15

P 108

AT et AP 80


A 16

P 111

G 511


A 17

P 107

G 70


A 18

P 105



A 19

P 109



A 26

P 112

G 432 At


A 27

P 117

G 437


A 28

P 115

G 435 ?


A 50

P 50



A 57

P 517



A 58

P 515



A 67

P 503



AP 3

P 53


VMA or A

P 55




98 D

98 D

98 D





S57 B