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Citroën () is a major French , part of the group.

Founded in 1919 by French industrialist (1878–1935), Citroën was the first mass-production car company outside the USA and pioneered the modern concept of creating a sales and services network that complements the motor car. Within eight years Citroën had become Europe's largest car manufacturer and the 4th largest in the world.Reynolds, John. "André Citroën: Engineer, Explorer, Entrepreneur". (J H Haynes & Co Ltd) Revised edition (25 August 2006) Page 63

Citroën earned a reputation for innovation and revolutionary engineering, which is reflected in the company's slogan "Créative Technologie". Its history of innovation began with its founding, when André-Gustave Citroën introduced the first industrial mass production of vehicles outside the United States, a technique he developed while mass-producing armaments for the French military in . In 1924, Citroën produced Europe’s first all-steel-bodied car, the B-10. In 1934, Citroën secured its reputation for innovation with its , not only the world's first mass-produced front-wheel drive car, but also one of the first cars to feature a -type body.Reynolds, John. "André Citroën: Engineer, Explorer, Entrepreneur". (J H Haynes & Co Ltd) Revised edition (25 August 2006) inside cover In 1954 Citroën produced the world's first system, then in 1955 the revolutionary , the first European production car with . In 1967, Citroën introduced the first in several models, allowing for greater visibility on winding roads.

The brand celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2009.


Early years
built armaments for France during ; after the war, however, he had a factory without a product. In 1919, the business started to produce , beginning with the conventional . The Type A was designed by , chief design officer from .

That same year, André Citroën briefly negotiated with on a proposed sale of the Citroën company to GM., p. 317. The deal nearly closed, but GM ultimately decided that its management and capital would be too overstretched by the takeover. Citroën thus remained independent for many years to come.

Citroën was a keen marketer—he used the as the world's largest advertising sign, as recorded in the . He also sponsored expeditions in Asia (Croisière Jaune), North America, (Croisière Blanche) and Africa (Croisière Noire) intended to demonstrate the potential for motor vehicles equipped with the system to cross inhospitable regions. The expeditions conveyed and .

Demonstrating extraordinary toughness, a 1923 Citroën that had already travelled was the first car to be driven around Australia. The car, a 1923 Citroën 5CV Type C Torpedo, was driven by Neville Westwood from , on a round trip from August to December 1925. The car is now fully restored and in the collection of the .

In 1924, Citroën began a business relationship with American engineer . From 1899, Budd had worked to develop stainless steel bodies for railroad cars, for the in particular. Budd went on to manufacture steel bodies for many automakers, being his first big auto client. At the Paris Motor Show in October 1924, Citroën introduced the , the first all-steel body in Europe.

The cars were initially successful in the marketplace, but soon competitors (who were still using a structure for their bodies) introduced new body designs. Citroën did not redesign the bodies of his cars. Citroëns still sold in large quantities in spite of not changing the body design, but the car's low price was the main selling point and Citroën experienced heavy losses.

In 1927, the bank helped Citroen by bringing new, much-needed funds as well as by renegotiating its debt—for example, by buying out the SOVAC. It went even further by entering in its capital and being represented at the board. The three directors sent by were , , and .

In an attempt to remedy the situation, Citroën developed the . The Traction Avant had three revolutionary features: , front wheel , and . Citroën commissioned Budd to create a prototype, which evolved into the 7-horsepower (), of 1934.

In 1933, Citroën also introduced the Rosalie, the first commercially available passenger car with a , developed with .

Michelin era
Achieving quick development of the Traction Avant and its production facilities at the same time was too costly and overly ambitious, causing the financial ruin of the company. In December 1934, despite the assistance of the Michelin company, Citroën filed for bankruptcy. Within the month, Michelin, already the car manufacturer's largest creditor, became in addition its principal shareholder. Fortunately for Michelin, the technologically advanced met with market acceptance, and the basic philosophy that had led to this design continued. Pierre Michelin became the chairman of Citroën. became the vice-president of Citroën and chief of the engineering and design department. In 1935 died from stomach cancer.

had been a First World War air reconnaissance photography specialist with the . He was capable and effective and finished the war having risen to the rank of captain. He was also courageous, having been decorated with the Military Cross and the Legion of Honour. He started working for in 1918, reporting directly to , co-director and founder of the business. Boulanger joined the Michelin board in 1922. He became president of Citroën in 1937 after the death of his friend and kept his position until his death in 1950. In 1938, he also became Michelin's joint managing director.

During the Boulanger refused to meet Dr. or communicate with the German authorities except through intermediaries. He organised a "go slow" on production of trucks for the , many of which were sabotaged at the factory, by putting the notch on the oil dipstick in the wrong place, resulting in engine seizure. In 1944 when the headquarters in Paris was sacked by the , his name was prominent on a blacklist of the most important "enemies of the Reich" to be arrested in the event of an allied invasion of France. ξ1

Citroën researchers continued their work in secret, against the express orders of the Germans, and developed the concepts that were later brought to market in the 2CV and DS. These were widely regarded by contemporary as , even radical, solutions to automotive design. This began a period of unusual normally seen in the automobile industry only in niche brands, like and . The -like appeal of the cars to Citroënistes took almost two decades to fade, from 1975 to about 1995.

Citroën was undercapitalised, so its vehicles had a tendency to be underdeveloped at launch, with limited distribution and service networks. For both the important DS and CX models, development of the original engine around which the design was planned proved too expensive for the finances available, and the actual engine used in both cases was a modest and outdated four-cylinder design.

Citroën unveiled the —signifying two , initially only —at the in 1948. The car became a bestseller, achieving the designer's aim of providing rural with a motorized alternative to the . This car remained in production, with only minor changes, until 1990 and was a common sight on French roads until recently.

1955 saw the introduction of the , the first full usage of Citroën's now legendary system that was tested on the rear suspension of the last of the Tractions. The DS was the first European production car with .

The featured , power , and power , and—from 1968—. A single high-pressure system was used to activate pistons in the cover to shift the gears in the and to operate the on the Citromatic, Citroën's semi-.

This high-pressure hydraulic system would form the basis of many Citroën cars, including the , , , , , , , and . These vehicles shared the distinguishing feature of rising to operating when the engine was turned on, like a "mechanical camel" (per Car & Driver magazine). A lever beside the driver's seat allowed the driver to adjust the height of the car; this has now been replaced by an electronic switch. The height adjustability of the suspension allows for clearing obstacles, fording shallow (slow-moving) streams, and changing tires. This type of suspension is uniquely able to without disturbing the occupants.

During Citroën's venture with , the Citroën high-pressure hydraulic system was used on several Maserati models, for power clutch operation (Bora), power pedal adjustment (Bora), pop-up headlights (Bora, Merak), brakes (Bora, Merak, Khamsin), steering (Khamsin), and the entire prototype, which was a four-door under the skin.

Citroën was one of the early pioneers of the now widespread trend of automobile design, which helps to reduce and improve high-speed performance by reducing . The firm began using a in the 1950s, enabling them to create highly streamlined cars such as the DS that were years ahead of their time. So good were the aerodynamics of the that it took its name from the term used to measure drag coeffient: \bold c_\mathrm x\,.

Financial restructuring
In 1963, Citroën negotiated with to cooperate in the purchase of raw materials and equipment. Talks were broken off in 1965.

That year Citroën took over the French carmaker in the hope of using Panhard's expertise in midsize cars to complement its own range of very small, cheap cars (e.g., /) and large, expensive cars (e.g., /ID). Cooperation between the two companies had begun 12 years earlier, and they had agreed to a partial merger of their sales networks in 1953. Panhard ceased making vehicles in 1967.

The year 1968 saw a restructuring of Citroën's worldwide operations under a new holding company, Citroën SA. , Citroën's longtime controlling shareholder, sold a 49% stake to in what was referred to as the PARDEVI agreement (Participation et Développement Industriels).

That year Citroën purchased the and launched the , which featured a V6 Maserati engine and a fully powered steering system called . The SM was engineered as if it were replacing the , a level of investment the GT sector alone would never be able to support, even in the best of circumstances. Circumstances became more unfavorable as the 1970s progressed. Citroën suffered another financial blow in the . In 1974, the carmaker withdrew from North America owing to design regulations that outlawed core features of Citroën cars.

Huge losses at Citroën were caused by failure of the rotary engine venture, plus the of going the from 1955 to 1970 without a model in the profitable middle range of the European market, and the massive development costs for the , , , , , and models—each a technological marvel in its own right.

PSA era
Citroën was unable to withstand the softening of the automobile market that accompanied the . In June 1973 Citroen and Fiat announced their "divorce" on the grounds that benefits foreseen for their union in 1968 had failed to materialise. Fiat backed out of the from the "PARDEVI" agreement and returned its 49% stake to Michelin. The French government feared large job losses and arranged talks between and Citroën in which it was decided to merge Automobiles Citroën and Automobiles Peugeot into a single company. A year after the break with Fiat, on 24 June 1974, Citroën announced their new partnership, this time with Peugeot. Michelin agreed to transfer control of the business to Peugeot with immediate effect, although their shareholding in Citroën was transferred only in 1976. In 1974, Citroen purchased 38.2% of Peugeot and became responsible for managing the combined activities, in particular their research, purchasing, and investments departments.

Citroen sold off to in May 1975, and the Italian firm was quickly able to exploit the image of the Maserati brand to sell tens of thousands of newly designed models.

The takeover was completed in May 1976, as (Peugeot) (Citroen-SA) purchased a 90% stake of Peugeot P and the companies were combined into a holding company known as .

The PSA venture was a financial success from 1976 to 1979. Citroën had two successful new designs in the market at this time (the and ), a resurgent , and the in the wake of the oil crisis, and was typically prudent in its own finances, launching the based and . PSA then purchased the aging assets of , which it rebranded as , leading to losses from 1980 to 1985.

PSA gradually diluted Citroën's and Peugeot ambitious attitude to engineering and styling in an effort to the marque to appeal to a wider market. In the 1980s, Citroën models became increasingly Peugeot-based, following the worldwide motor industry trend called "platform sharing." The 1982 used the suspension system and still had a Citroën-esque appearance, while being powered by Peugeot-derived engines and using the floorpan later seen on the . By the late 1980s, many of the distinctive features of the marque had been removed or diluted—conventional Peugeot's switchgear replaced Citroën's quirky but ergonomic "Lunule" designs, complete with self-cancelling indicators that Citroën had previously refused to adopt on ergonomic grounds.

Citroën expanded into many new geographic markets. In the late 1970s, the firm developed a small car for production in known as the , which it sold in as the . That joint venture has ended, but a new one between PSA and is now producing cars like the in the .

In , Citroën began selling cars in 1984 and currently builds a range of family cars that includes the and and locally designed cars like the and models. Citroën is a global brand except in North America, where the company has not returned since the SM for not meeting U.S. (NHTSA) bumper regulations.

Production of the ended in 1990. More recently, Citroën has introduced the Pluriel, an unusual convertible with strong allusions to the 2CV, both in body style (such as the bonnet) and in its all-round practicality.

Worldwide sales of vehicles reduced from in 2010 to in 2011, with of these sold in Europe. Shown below is the Citroen C3 Pluriel introduced in 2003, the C4 in 2004- Present. The C2 was designed and created in 2003-2009. Picture for all these cars below.

Citroën announced in early 2009 the development of a premium sub-brand DS, for Different Spirit or Distinctive Series (although the reference to the historical is evident), to run in parallel to its mainstream cars. This new series of cars started with the in early 2010, a small car based on the floor plan of the new C3. The DS3 is customisable with various roof colours that can contrast with the body panels. Following this first model, a was launched in 2010, and the followed in 2011.

Their rear badge is a new DS logo rather than the familiar Citroën double chevron, and all will have markedly different styling from their equivalent sister car. Citroën have produced several dramatic-looking concept sports cars of late with the fully working being badged as a DS, hinting at current sub-brands future intentions.

In China, Citroën has "stand alone" DS sale rooms, including vehicle plants built for the production of these vehicles. Citroën plans to produce and sell the in China in 2014.

The origin of the logo may be traced back to a trip made by the 22-year-old André Citroën to city, , where he discovered an innovative design for a -shaped used in . He bought the patent for its application in steel. Mechanically a gear with helical teeth produces an axial force. By adding a second helical gear in opposition, this force is cancelled. The two chevrons of the logo represent the intermeshing contact of the two.

The presentation of the logo has evolved over time. Before the war, it was rendered in yellow on a blue background. After the war, the chevrons became more subtle herringbones, usually on a white background. With the company searching for a new image during the 1980s, the logo became white on red to give an impression of dynamism, emphasized by publicity slogan.

In February 2009 Citroën launched a new brand identity to celebrate its 90th anniversary, replacing the 1985 design. The new logo was designed by Landor Associates / Communicate magazine / Communicate magazine, June 2009 — a 3D metallic variation of the double chevron logo accompanied by a new font for the Citroën name and the new slogan "Créative Technologie". A TV campaign reminiscing over of Citroën was commissioned to announce the new identity to the public. The new look is currently being rolled out to dealers globally and is expected to take three to five years.


Some joint venture models are manufactured in third party or joint venture factories, including:

Current Product lineup
(a rebadged ).]]

=== DS line ===


=== Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën ===

aka Citroën C-Quatre]]
, a rebadged Peugeot 206]]

Citroën Racing
Citroën Racing, previously known as Citroën Sport, is the team responsible for Citroën's sporting activities. They are a winning competitor in the . After an abortive attempt with in , the team returned with the Citroën ZX Rally Raid to win the Manufacturer's Championship in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 with and . They won the in 1991, 1994, 1995, and 1996.

From 2001 the team returned to the World Rally Championship, winning the in , , , , , , and . In 2004, 2005, and , French driver won the driving the , in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 with the , and in 2011 and 2012 with the .


European Car of the Year awards

Several models were shortlisted including the 1971 , 1988 , 1994 , 2003 , 2005 and 2007 .

USA Car of the Year award

See also



External links

    ^ 9781844252077
    ^ (2019). 9782711778188, Vuibert.
    ^ (2019). 9782849410134, Bourin.

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