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In November of 1970, HP announced plans to purchase a 45-acre site near Grenoble for development into a research and manufacturing facility. HP began manufacturing 2100 computers in a temporary facility for sale into the European market; the first two computers shipped in January of 1972. Karl Schwartz was the general manager of the start-up operation. By July of 1974, HP had 150 employees in Grenoble including nine working in R&D. The operation moved into its permanent 20,000 square meter plant in 1975, when it shipped its 1400th 2100 computer.
In March of 1976, Cyril Yansouni succeeded Schwartz as the Grenoble Division (HPG) general manager. The Grenoble Division became a full-fledged product-responsible division in 1976. The division employed 300 people. Manufacture of 7260 card readers accounted for much of the division's activity. Grenoble also made 7900 disc drives for the European market (beginning in 1973). HPG shipped its 1000th 7900 in August of 1976. The division’s first home-grown development was the 3070 data capture terminals introduced that year.
In February of 1977, Grenoble began manufacturing 264X terminals for the European market. HPG also began manufacturing 7906 drives in 1978. All disc drive manufacturing was transferred back to the Disc Memory Division in Boise in March of 1979. HP consolidated disc manufacturing in order to reduce costs related to duplication of investment in clean rooms.
In January of 1979, Grenoble expanded its range of data capture terminals by introducing the 3075A, 3076A and 3077A. In February of 1980, the Grenoble Division shipped its 1,000th data capture terminal. The Grenoble Division had also manufactured 10,000 264X terminals by this time.
In August of 1981, David Rose became general manager of the Grenoble Division. On November 1 of 1981, the French Software Center (FSC) was established at Grenoble. FSC was responsible for producing French-language versions of HP 3000 software. FSC was headed by Marc Brun.
In April of 1983, a new division was created alongside the Grenoble Division. The Grenoble Personal Computer Division (GPCD) assumed responsibility for all Grenoble activities related to terminals and personal computers. The general manager of the new division was Robert Aydabirian. Grenoble began building HP-150 PCs in 1983 and HP Vectra PCs in 1985.
The Grenoble Networks Division was also established in the mid-1980s. It had responsibility for the multipoint cluster controllers used with HP 3000 computers. The Grenoble Personal Computer Division developed the 2392A terminal, which was introduced in 1984. The 2392A was HP’s work horse terminal until the introduction of the 700 Series terminals in 1987.
In 1983, the Grenoble Personal Computer Division introduced the 3092A/93A and 3081A series of industrial terminals. That same year, the Grenoble Networks Division (GND) introduced the 2334A cluster controller. By the end of 1984, Grenoble had sold over 7,500 of the 307X terminals. These terminals were obsoleted on November 1, 1985.
In January of 1988, Jacques Clay was appointed general manager of the Grenoble Personal Computer Division.Clay went on to become the general manager of the Personal Computer Group in late 1990.
In June of 1988, Andre Meyer became the general manager of the Grenoble Networks Division. In May of 1991, Didier Breton became the general manager of the Grenoble PC Division.
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