En 1836, les deux freres Eugene Schneider et Adolphe Schneider participent a la Revolution industrielle en fondant l'entreprise Schneider et Cie. Schneider innove dans les secteurs de la metallurgie et de la siderurgie, et devient rapidement l'un des leaders europeens dans les domaines de l'armement. A l'origine l'entreprise est implantee au Creusot, en Saone-et-Loire. Dans les annees 1960, l'entreprise connait des difficultes. Apres des diversifications ratees, elle se recentre sur le domaine electrique. Schneider -Creusot, or Schneider et Cie, was a historic French iron and steel-mill which became a major arms manufacturer. After World War II, it evolved into Schneider Electric.
In 1836, iron ore mines and forges around Le Creusot were bought by Adolphe Schneider and his brother Eugene Schneider. They developed a business in steel, railways, armaments, and shipbuilding. Somua was a subsidiary located near Paris; it made machinery and vehicles , including the SOMUA S35.

Schneider heavy duty and special vehicles - Moving enormous loads.
En 1957, la societe Batignolles-Chatillon, devenue societe holding a la suite des apports, en 1956, de ses activites a deux filiales de la SFAC (Batignolles-Chatillon-Mecanique generale et H. Ernault- Somua ), fut absorbee par cette derniere avec effet retroactif au 1er juillet precedent. Cette fusion devait permettre une harmonisation des fabrications et de l'action commerciale de la SFAC et de ses nouvelles filiales.
L'arret de l'expansion siderurgique dans le monde et le declin de l'industrie mecanique imposerent plus que jamais cet effort de concentration. Une moindre demande des marches exterieurs provoqua, en effet, la baisse des prix a l'exportation, alors que la ferraille, matiere premiere essentielle, avait subi des hausses importantes au cours des precedentes annees. A compter du 1er janvier 1963, la SFAC absorba sa filiale la societe Batignolles-Chatillon (Mecanique generale) qui lui apporta ses usines de Nantes et de Tarbes.
Pour repondre aux exigences du progres techniques, de nouvelles societes d'etudes et de ventes furent mises sur pied : Latil-Batignolle, creee par la SFAC et la SAVIEM pour assurer la commercialisation des tracteurs forestiers Latil et des chariots Armax, construits a l'usine de Nantes, et la SENTA (Societe d'etudes nucleaires et de techniques avancees) constituee a 90 % par la SFAC afin de reprendre les activites de l'ancienne Division des etudes specialisees dans le domaine nucleaire ; cette meme annee (1963), la filiale MTE (Materiel de traction electrique) fut chargee d'assurer les etudes de conception et de commercialisation de tous les materiels de traction ferroviaire construits par Jeumont-Schneider et par la SFAC.
L'aggravation de la conjoncture incita cette derniere, en 1964 et 1965, a ceder la participation qu'elle detenait dans la societe H. Ernault-Somua et a lui transferer la fabrication des machines-outils de l'usine de Toulouse. Elle renonca, egalement, a sa participation dans la CERCA (Compagnie pour l'etude et la realisation de combustibles atomiques) et fit apport d'une part, de son usine d'Anzin (principalement fabrications de materiel de levage) a la Societe industrielle Delattre-Levivier, et d'autre part de l'usine de produits refractaires de Perreuil (Saone-et-Loire) aux Etablissements Prost ; la plus grande partie du domaine civil du Creusot et de Chalon-sur-Saone etait, par ailleurs, cedee a la Societe immobiliere du Creusot.
The Schneider CA 1 (originally named the Schneider CA) was an Armored Fighting Vehicle developed in France during the First World War. Although not a tank in the modern sense of the word, not being a turreted vehicle, it is generally accepted and described as the first French tank.
Colonel Jean Baptiste Eugene Estienne in December 1915 began to urge for the formation of French armour units, leading to an order in February 1916 of four hundred Schneider CA tanks, which were manufactured by SOMUA, a subsidiary of Schneider located in a suburb of Paris, between September 1916 and August 1918.
.. the Schneider company had been given the order to develop heavy artillery tractors in January 1915.
Creusot-Loire was created in 1970 by the merger of three steel and engineering groups.
In 1980 Harvard-educated Didier Pineau-Valencienne took over as chairman and sought to streamline the company's operations. To no avail. In 1983 the group racked up record losses of $200 million. In December 1984 the Paris commercial court ordered the liquidation of Creusot-Loire, France's largest privately owned engineering conglomerate. The group's companies, had run up debts of more than $633 million. The failure was the biggest industrial bankruptcy in French history. There were big repercussions in the country and outside from the bankruptcy of the Creusot-Loire company (of the Schneider group). The government was unable to effectively resist the strategy of the private shareholders, who resolved to free their capital from the unprofitable investment sphere.
By the mid-1980s Creusot-Loire was floundering while Renault Vehicules Industriels [Renault Industrial Vehicles] had seen mounting losses (2.2 billion francs for 1983). There is no connection between the two situations. And yet, both enterprises were in the same military equipment sector. Even more, both groups are cooperating in the production of the VAB [armored attack vehicle] for which Creusot-Loire was building the armor in its Saint Chamond facility while the power plant system was the responsibility of Renault Vehicules Industriels (the engines are produced especially in Limoges).
In the early 1990s GIAT entered into an agreement with two of its principal French competitors, Creusot-Loire and Renault Vehicules Industriels ( RVI ), to create a jointly owned company to manage current and future tracked and wheeled vehicle programs.

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