Citroen S.A. was founded in 1919 by Andre-Gustave Citroen. Andre was a French entrepreneur who freemason and used weaponry for mass manufacturing. However, he gained a passion in the automotive industry in the mid-1910s.
He was left with a vacant warehouse after World War I, which he had been using to establish a company named after himself, Citroen. That's how the Citroen corporation began to begin reading to learn more about the Citroen mark, the period of history, and the collection of recent versions.
The Type A, which was unveiled with a first advertisement, was Citroen's first vehicle. It was a classic car with an engine of four cylinders and a top speed of 64 kph. Soon enough, in the French automotive industry, it became a sensation and this marked the beginning of a profitable business.
Citroen started mass-producing cars with basic designs in 1920 that represented the rising automotive industry extremely well. The firm managed to sell over 10,000 cars in just one year on the market. Citroen launched its second iteration, the B2, in 1921, which proved to be a more potent Type A variant.
A few years down the line, Citroen was able to increase its production volume to 50,000 units and became the fourth largest car maker in the world by 1927 (just 8 years after its inception). The company started producing commercial vehicles in 1931 and launched the Citroen C4F, and three years later, Citroen launched the Traction Avant, the world's first front-wheel drive vehicle. It was a pioneer of innovations.
The prototype of one of Citroen's most successful cars, the 2CV, made its debut at the end of the 1930s. However, the firm did not resume production due to the bombing of the Javel Factory in the 1940s. Nonetheless, Citroen was able to conceal the 2CV designs, which were later produced in 1948.More than 5 million units of the 2CV are said to have been constructed. Citroen launched the Model HZ, which was a small van, at the end of the '40s. Additionally, owing to the fuel crisis, the firm managed to offer gas as an alternative on most of its cars. A van version of the popular 2CV was launched by Citroen in the 50s, which could produce 100 km per 5 liters.
A year later, the Citroen 15 CV made its debut, and became the official vehicle of the French Government. It was during this time that Citroen automobiles underwent crucial improvements in design and looked sleeker. By 1958, after producing more than 750,000 cars, the company ended production of the Traction Avant.
The business made a great start to the new decade by launching the DS 19 in Paris. It was one of the first Citroen cars to offer a wide variety of customization choices and 76 different paint variations. In 1964, the company experienced a big loss due to the death of Flaminio Bertoni, who was the chief designer of Citroen and the man behind the famous DS 19 and Ami 6.
In 1969, Citroen again left the market behind and launched the first French production vehicle to feature electronic fuel injection, the DS 21. Two years later, the Citroen GS won the 'Car of the Year' award, and several other popular versions were also developed and released in the 1970s. They included Citroen DS 23, Citroen Ami Mega, Citroen CX, Dyane Caban, and CX 2400 GTI.
In 1976, Fiat bought 30% of Citroen and founded the parent company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, which is now the second-largest European carmaker and ninth-largest in unit volume. Seven-speed Mehari 4×4 made its debut in 1979.
In the 1980s, Citroen became much more popular worldwide with the launch of the iconic Visa II and Charleston. Two years later, Citroen made its debut with Visa GT, and by 1985, the company chose to replace its old branding with a new logo in red and white. In the 1990s, the manufacture of electric cars began and the Citela, an incredibly stunning electric prototype, was launched.
With the beginning of the new century, Citroen has launched its iconic line of C models, such as C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 and C6, all of which have been instant successes in the automotive industry. However, sales of Citroen cars declined dramatically by 2010. However, the firm resumed the production of vehicles and launched Citroen C-Zero in 2012 which was the first electric car to complete a round-the-world tour.
Citroen is a manufacturer with a rich history and lineage who pioneered modern vehicle technologies like cornering headlamps, hydropneumatics suspensions, and a lot more. Today, they emphasize on comfort and safety primarily.
Now Citroen is a sub-brand of Groupe PSA, which itself is a subsidiary of the newly formed “Stellantis” entity, a 50-50 merger of Groupe PSA & FCA Group. The coming years will be exciting for Stellantis Group as they produce and develop new products with their newly wedded partners.