About 2.5 million vehicles have been sold worldwide. It slotted into the Peugeot range between the smaller 309 and the larger 505, giving it a firm rival for the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier/Opel Vectra.
The 405 was the last Peugeot vehicle sold in the US, the company withdrawing in 1991.
Designed in France, it has been manufactured in:
- Europe: from 1987 to 1997 at Sochaux (France) and Ryton (UK).
- Zimbabwe: until 2002, by Quest.
- Egypt: Wagih Abaza produces the 405, as well as marketing other models.
- Iran: currently produced by Iran Khodro.
- Argentina:Several saloon models, including diesels were built in the Villa Bosch Peugeot facility from 1992 to 1999. In this country the 405 has been an extremely popular car, with total sales of over 500,000 units.
- Poland: Produced by FSO Lublin.
Iran Khodro also produces several models derived from the 405. The Peugeot Pars, also known as the Peugeot Persia, is a facelifted 405 with a redesigned front end including clear lamp lenses and a revised rear. The Peugeot RD is a rear wheel drive car which has a 405 body and mechanical parts from the Paykan. Since 2006, it has been sold in certain Middle Eastern markets as the Peugeot ROA.
The Samand, which was designed to be a "national car" for Iran, is also based on the 405 platform. It replaced the long-running Paykan which was itself based on the Hillman Hunter, an ancestor (in corporate ownership and model positioning terms) of the 405, having been produced by the Rootes Group and Chrysler UK from 1963 until 1979 - the year that Peugeot purchased Chrysler's European operations.
- 1987: In July, Peugeot unveiled 10 versions of the 405 simultaneously for the 1988 model year. The 405 was available as a 4-door only. Four-cylinder petrol engines included 65, 92, 110, 125, and 160 hp (48, 69, 82, 93, and 119 kW) units.
- 1988: 70 and 90 hp (52 and 67 kW) diesel engines are added to the range. Estate introduced.
- 1989: 500,000 vehicles already produced.
- 1990: In France, the 1 millionth 405 leaves the Sochaux factory. BE1 transmission replaced by the BE3.
- 1991: Updates to the dashboard, steering wheel, and soundproofing.
- 1993: Phase 2 model. New boot (trunk) with better ingress, new rear lights and boot design and new dashboard. Launch of the turbocharged, 16-valve, four wheel drive 405 T16. (LHD only)
- 1995: The 405's replacement, the 406 is introduced. 405 saloon discontinued. Airbag becomes an option on some models, and standard on the Mi16 (except UK) and T16.
- 1997: Estate discontinued in Europe, marking the end of European production of the 405.