Citroen: Company History, Current Models, Interesting Facts ...


Founded in France in 1919, Citroen is one of the largest automobile manufacturers based out of the country. Though they started as their own independent company, they have been a part of the PSA Peugeot Citroen group since 1976. Citroen currently offers a wide line of automobiles and commercial vehicles with twenty-two models in total.

Company History

Citroen sports a long and interesting history. French industrialist Andre-Gustave Citroen founded the company in 1919. Right from the get go, Citroen stuck out form the crowd as it was the first car company outside of the United States to use mass-production methods of manufacturing cars.

But they were not done there. In the years that followed, Citroen pioneered the concept of creating a sales and service network specifically built around the company’s cars. This is a concept that is still used by automakers around the world today. It only took eight years for Citroen to earn the honors of Europe’s largest automaker and the 4th largest in the entire world.

During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Citroen gained a reputation as a car company that was willing to take risks. They were particularly well known for their innovation and revolutionary engineering. For instance, the Citroen B10, which the company produced in 1924, was the first all-steel-bodied car developed in Europe.

1954 was an equally good year for Citroen as their hydro pneumatic self-leveling suspension system (the first of its kind in the world) caught on and received much acclaim. The next year, their Citroen DS model car was outfitted with disc brakes. It was the first European production car to come with such breaks. A little over a decade later, swiveling headlights were introduced on several models, allowing for greater visibility on winding roads and setting the industry standard for car lights to follow.

Citroen continued to successfully manufacturer cars in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Throughout this time period, they were given several international car awards. These included one Car of the Year award in the United States, three Car of the Year awards in Ireland, three Car of the Year awards in Italy, and nine Car of the Year awards in Spain. Citroen celebrated 90 years in the business in 2009.

Flagship Model

The current flagship model of French automaker Citroen is their compact executive Citroen DS5. It is Citroen’s third model introduced into their new premium (luxury) line of automobiles.

The DS5 was revealed at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show and launched for the European market a few months later. It is also interesting to note that the DS5 was the first Citroen branded car to be assembled in Peugeot’s lead European factory.

The Citroen DS5 blends a unique mix of hatchback and estate style cars into a stylish package. A Citroen concept car that the company spent time developing in 2005 influenced the styling. Two different diesel engines as well as a turbo-charged petrol engine are offered. However, the company is focusing on marketing the diesel-electric Hybrid 4 engine that sports a 163 horsepower diesel engine mixed with a 37 horsepower electric motor.

Several variations on the Citroen DS5 are available. These include the DS 5LS and the DS5 convertible. Citroen is currently developing a Citroen DS 6WR to take the place of the DS5 as the brand’s flagship model.

Current Models

Citroen currently offers twenty-two different models. These models are broken up into three primary classes of cars. The classes are Citroen, the DS line, and the Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroen joint venture line.

Citroen Line: The models currently available from Citroen in the Citroen class include the Citroen C-Zero, C1 II, Citroen C3 Exclusive, Citroen C3 Picasso, Citroen C3 Aircross, Citroen C-Elysee, Citroen C4, Citroen C4 Cactus, Citroen C4 Picasso II, Citroen C4 Aircross, Citroen C5, Citroen Nemo, Citroen Berlingo, Citroen Jumpy, and the Citroen Jumper.

DS Line: Citroen offers three vehicles in its DS line. These include the Citroen DS3 Sport Chic, Citroen DS4 Sport Chic, and Citroen DS5.

Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroen Joint Venture Line: This line of cars is a joint venture between Dongfeng Motor Corporation and PSA Peugeot-Citroen. The automobiles in this line include the Citroen C-Elysee I, Citroen C2, and the Citroen C-Triomphe (also known as the C-Quatre).

Previous Models

In over ninety years of business, Citroen has manufactured a wide variety of different models. They have sold these models in countries all over the globe. In fact, they are currently a worldwide brand except for North America.

A few of the most well known Citroen automobiles that the country no longer manufacturers include the Citroen Visa, Citroen BX, and the Citroen Xantia.

Interesting Facts

The story behind Citroen’s well-known logo is interesting. It can be traced back all the way to the company’s founder Andre Citroen. During a trip to Poland as a youth, he discovered an innovative chevron-shaped design for a gear used in milling. He bought the patent to use it in the steel industry. Instead, the design for the gear was eventually used as the Citroen logo when the company was established. Though it has undergone several small changes over the years, it remains basically the same.

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