A car may be the second most expensive thing that most people buy, however, don’t think that many car manufacturers are content to focus on just making passenger vehicles. Many of the world’s biggest carmakers have also tried their hand at creating all sorts of products from pepper grinders to air conditioning units, while others have a history of developing everything from leaf blowers to tractors.
Here we demystify exactly which car manufacturers make what, with several surprises along the way. One Italian supercar manufacturer, for instance, started by engineering vehicles much larger than the ones it is currently famed for. Peugeot, however, started by creating slightly smaller products, while several Japanese engineering giants also make dozens of domestic appliances.
Peugeot – Pepper grinders
Peugeot may not be the car manufacturer most associated with zany innovation in the 21st century, but the company has a long and colourful past. The carmaker can trace its roots back to 1810 when the Peugeot family moved from weaving and running a grain mill to engineering.
The Peugeot family turned the grain mill into a steel foundry and started creating coffee grinders, springs, saws and even umbrella frames. It took until 1889 before Peugeot created its first motorised vehicle.
Mitsubishi – Satellites and air conditioning units
When it comes to miscellaneous electronic products, Mitsubishi has to take the crown; the company has made a baffling array of products from satellites to lifts and hand dryers. Also on its roster are microwave tubes, photo printers, dehumidifiers, power station instrumentation control systems – you name it.
Chances are, if your house is full of electrical items several of this will bear the Mitsubishi logo. Oh and the company makes cars too…
Honda – Lawn mowers and outboard motors
Honda may not stray as far from cars as fellow Japanese company Mitsubishi, but it still makes a baffling range of motorised products for land, sea and…er…garden.
Featuring on Honda’s list of products are motorbikes, quadbikes, outboard motors for boats, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, water pumps, hedge trimmers and so on. Suzuki has followed a similar path and also makes motorbikes, quadbikes and inflatable boats.
Daewoo – Vacuum cleaners and washing machines
Car company Daewoo may not have produced cars for the UK market for around a decade, but it does still exist in one form or another in Korea, where it sells rebranded General Motors (which owns Vauxhall) products under the title of GM Korea.
Away from cars the company makes a wide range of domestic products from vacuum cleaners to fridges and microwaves.
Lamborghini – Tractors and agricultural vehicles
Lamborghini may make some of the most outlandish, exotic supercars ever to hit the road, but its history doesn’t start on the racetrack, it starts in the fields of 1940s Italy, with ever-so-slightly larger (and much slower) machinery.
The company has been making tractors since 1948 and still creates its own agricultural beasts which, according to the company, “are known for their bold style, their performance, design and exclusive appeal that sets them apart.”