It all started in 1923 with the production of brake linings and clutch facings in a workshop in Saint-Ouen, just outside Paris. Ninety years later, Valeo is a partner to major automakers and operates in 28 countries, making it one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers.

1923-1961 - Beginnings

1923-1961 - Beginnings

In 1923, Eugène Buisson, the French representative for Ferodo brake linings, opened workshops in Saint-Ouen to manufacture, under license, his own friction materials. This was the birth of Société Anonyme Française de Ferodo (SAFF).

In 1932, the company expanded its activities to include the production of clutches, and SAFF was listed on the Paris stock exchange. On the eve of World War II, the company held almost all the patents relating to clutches.

During the war, at the Battle of Falaise in 1944, its Normandy factories were partially destroyed, and during the Liberation of Paris, the Saint-Ouen workshops (brake linings and clutches) were badly damaged. In the 1950s, the company modernized and expanded outside the Paris region, building new factories, notably in Normandy (friction materials) and Amiens (clutches).

In 1953, the company celebrated its 30th anniversary. Clutches, with their constantly evolving technologies, became its main business activity.