A Brief history of Citroen
The story of Citroen began in 1878 with the birth of Andre Citroen, a talented engineer and entrepreneur Andre Citroen had his first success manufacturing gears and cogs, his greatest achievement was the double helical gear, this “herringbone” gear went on to become the symbol of Citroen that is still in use to this day. After successfully producing gears and later on, armaments for the First World War, Andre Citroen then moved to the Mors Car Company and had his first taste of the motor industry.
After the First World War finished Andre Citroen began his own car company and the Citroen Marque was born. A great fan of Henry Ford, Andre quickly saw the benefits of mass production and the type A was launched as the first mass-produced European car. With electric lighting, starter and hood, the type A was quickly a success, offering levels of comfort and reliability never before seen, at prices targeted at the average man in the street.
1934 saw the next major advancement for Citroen with the introduction of the first mass-produced front wheel drive vehicle, the Traction Avant. Unfortunately Andre Citroen died shortly before the launch of the Traction Avant and never got to see the impact this vehicle would have on every major car manufacturer. Other successes followed including the legendary 2CV and the DS. The DS being well ahead of its time, incorporating a semi-automatic gearbox, fully-powered disc brakes, power steering and oleopneumatic suspension, which used gas and fluid as the springs.
From the mid 1950's through to the early 1970's Citroen failed to move forward as quickly as other manufacturers and due to a combination of massive investment in engine technology (the Comotor rotary engine) and the oil embargo Citroen made huge losses, leading to the company going bankrupt in 1974. Fearing a backlash from the voting public the French government arranged for a takeover of Citroen by Peugeot and in 1975 PSA Peugeot Citroen was created.
After combining with Peugeot, new models such as the Visa, BX and AX once again brought the Citroen brand back to the forefront and today Citroen still produce innovative designs often utilising groundbreaking technology. But above everything else Citroen still produce reliable, affordable cars.