Fabrice Gommé’s car’s odometer reached 999,999 on May 27, 2022, and hasn’t budged since. In most cases, this kind of mileage requires several decades of use, but Monsieur Gommé put a million kilometers into his car, a 2006 Peugeot 307, in just sixteen years – reported Peugeot
Most motorists never go that far with a car, but Mr. Gommé himself works in the automobile industry, he knows exactly how much energy, attention, effort and dedication is required for a car to “circulate the Earth” twenty-five times, from design to production to maintenance. “. That’s why a daredevil thought and approached Peugeot with a special request: he planned to share the great moment with the unsung heroes who work in the brand’s central production plant. They are the ones who give flesh to the plans, who turn the developments into reality, in their hands the abstract automobile is transformed into a tangible reality.
He was accompanied on the big trip by his relatives and friends, even aboard two Peugeots (a 309 and a 405). First, they visited the assembly line in Sochaux, where the workers awaited the arrivals with a decorative wall, and Gommé, who got out from behind the wheel, “thanks a million!” by holding up a sign with the inscription, he paid tribute to their performance. “We looked at each other and understood each other” he said later.
We all contributed to this achievement: they built the car, our family logged the kilometers, and Jeremy, my mechanic, kept the Peugeot in perfect condition throughout.
The next stop of the parade was Trémery. The facility currently operates as Peugeot’s first electric engine factory, but when Gommé’s car was built, it housed the world’s largest diesel engine manufacturing plant. The 1.6-liter, 92-horsepower HDI power source of the million-kilometer Peugeot 307 also came from here, which served the one million kilometers without renovation, with its original turbocharger and injectors. The only major part that needed replacing during the sixteen years was the gearbox – at 600,000 kilometers.
The operational reliability of the Peugeot 307 would have been impressive even if it had covered this incredible distance typically at operating temperature, on the highway, at a steady cruising speed.
However, Gommé and his family, who live in the Oise department north of Paris, drove almost exclusively in the area, according to him, the Peugeot rarely left Normandy and Upper France. The car has never been garaged, and although it has spent more than 5,500 nights under the open sky, its bodywork has remained largely untouched by corrosion.
The one millionth kilometer was timed by Fabrice Gommé at Peugeot’s factory museum in Sochaux. Here, he took a photo with the model’s late successor, the all-new, third-generation Peugeot 308, and then received the car’s “birth certificate” from factory representatives: an official document certifying the car’s production date.
When I walked into my local Peugeot dealership in 2007, I knew exactly what I was looking for. A young, hardly used car, which can accommodate all four of our children in addition to my wife and me. The Peugeot 307 SW with three rows of seats was just right for the purpose. I did a lot of research and knew that this engine has proven to be particularly reliable over the years. I’ve read about several Peugeot 307s that went half a million kilometers without a problem with the 1.6 diesel. So I hoped that the car would have a long life, but I would not have dreamed of a million kilometers – said Fabrice Gommé, who regards his car as a family member.
In addition to the construction, of course, regular, competent maintenance and a good deal of luck were also necessary for this performance.
“For the last three years, I’ve been mentally prepared for the fact that the car could give up at any time, but it didn’t. Over the years, I probably spent several times the purchase price on its maintenance, but it was worth it.” Monsieur Gommé said goodbye at the end of the ceremony. “Nevertheless, I think it’s time for the car to rest for good. I use it as a work tool, and more and more cities are restricting the entry of Euro4 diesels.”
The career of the 307 SW is therefore coming to an end, but it is being given a fitting end to its glorious life. According to the plans, Mr. Gommé will return the car to Peugeot so that they can assemble it in its parts and thoroughly analyze what gave it its special durability.