Bringing populations closer
Very early on, Optorg is connected to the daily realities of African mobility thanks to the distribution network of cycles, motorbikes and cars, inherited from Peyrissac in 1955. Henceforth, the group provides multiple mobility solutions, adapted to the population’s needs.
A TWO-WHEELED ERA
In countries where public transport is insufficient and purchasing power limited, the bicycle is the preferred mode of transport. Originally just a distributor, Optorg gradually becomes involved across the entire value chain.
In 1955, the cycle business that comes with Établissements Peyrissac puts Optorg on the map of individual transport. At this time Peyrissac manages a distribution business of bikes and mopeds all across Western Africa.
Moped paint workshop in Morocco in 1979.
In 1968, the group takes stakes in Veléclair, wholesale distributor in France and Africa, and also in several assembly plants in the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Upper Volta, Mali, Togo, Senegal, Benin and Chad.
THE RISE OF THE AUTOMOBILE
From 1960 to 1970, infrastructure undergoes modernization, more cars become available in Africa. Optorg represents big brands and develops a pioneering service in terms of modernity.
At this time the decisive criteria in the client’s purchasing choice are robustness, simplicity of mecanics and easy up-keep. The Optorg group offers reliable brands like Peugeot, Fiat, Ford, Mazda, BMW, Citroën or Mitsubishi.
BMW showroom in the 60’s.
Car distribution accounts for 16% of the Optorg turnover in 1974 and 8% for the business of cycles and motorcycles.
Presentation of the Peugeot 205 at Africauto, Senegal.
WINNER BY LENGTHS
At the outset, Peyrissac represents Peugeot in many countries. The brand enjoys a very good reputation on the African continent which only gets stronger as of 1958, as Peugeot ramps up victories in races and African rallies. East African Safari du Cap, Bandama Rally, Morocco Rally… and of course the legendary Paris-Dakar!
A mechanic shows Mr Léopold Sédar Senghor, President of the Republic of Senegal, and Mr Robert Lemaignen, Optorg CEO, equipment for testing and analyzing engines.
A DISTINGUISHED GUEST
IN 1964, Léopold Sédar Senghor, President of the Republic of Senegal, opens in person the new Peugeot workshop, built and equipped by Optorg in Dakar. A fine recognition for the Optorg quality of service.
A VEHICLE AT THE RIGHT PRICE
Up until the 90’s, few individuals are able to purchase and maintain a car. Optorg experiments with different means of providing accessible mobility. The catalogue includes dynamic and competitive Korean brands (Kia, Asia, Hyundai, Ssangyong). The group is also a pioneer in alternatives to purchase such as car hire, developed in partnership with major service providers.
BOUNCING BACK IN 2000
The private vehicle market remains difficult between 1970 and 1980. Optorg is confronted with a grey market providing a limited but cheap service. Given this context the group concentrates on its key markets up until the 90’s, when it makes its comeback into automobile distribution.
"The perpetually changing character of the world economic situation forces a group like ours, which is based on trade and services across several continents, to be constantly adapting itself within a framework defined by years of experience."
1966 Optorg Activity Report.