While in Poland in 1900, André Citroën learns about the new process of metallic gears. One of the systems uses chevrons. This engineer and future founder of Citroën buys the licence and adapts it for his French factories. He then chooses the make the double chevron the emblem of his first company.
100 YEARS OF HISTORY
1919 ANDRÉ CITROËN
Audacity. Creativity. Technology. Three words that illustrate the vision of André Citroën, the pioneer of the automotive industry. In 1919 the great Citroën adventure begins, with the launch of the Citroën Type A.
1921-1922 ADVERTISING IN THE PARIS SKY
In 1921, Citroën unveils the 2nd model in its range: the B2. Then comes the Citroën 5HP at the Paris Motor Show. As the show opens, a plane writes the word Citroën in the sky above the French capital.
1922-1924 CROISIÈRE IN THE SAHARA AND IN AFRICA
To show the reliability of his cars, in 1922 André Citroën sends his B2 10HP half-track car across the Sahara desert. Following the success, two years later he organises the Croisière Noire expedition, crossing Africa from north to south.
1926-1930 CITROËN B14, C6 1 AND C4
In 1926, Citroën presents its B14, a mass-market car with luxury features. It is a great success. Three years later is the C6 1, France’s first fast utility vehicle. In 1930 comes the commercial C4, with detachable seats and a tailgate in 2 parts.
1931 CROISIÈRE JAUNE IN ASIA
Five years after the Croisière Noire, Citroën crosses the Asian continent from Beirut to Beijing. Named the ‘Citroën central Asia expedition’, the aim of the Croisière Jaune is to prove the vehicles’ technical qualities to the whole world.
1932-1934 CITROËN ROSALIE AND TRACTION AVANT
Before the 1932 Paris Motor Show, Citroën's latest release, available in 8, 10 and 15CV models, causes a stir. Named ‘Rosalie’, it is already breaking the speed records at the track. The Traction Avant is a revolution in 1934, named due to the front wheel drive.
1935 CITROËN FACES FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
The launch of the Traction Avant doesn't resolve the serious financial difficulties facing the company. In late 1934, to avoid the brand going under, Michelin buys out Citroën. André Citroën dies on 3 July 1935. Pierre Boulanger becomes CEO.
1936-1939 TRACTION AVANT 15-SIX AND TUB
In 1938 the 15-Six joins the Traction Avant family. It is comfortable and fast and is nicknamed “Queen of the Road”. The following year, the TUB targets professionals with a significant novelty: its lateral sliding loading door.
1945-1947 REBUILDING THE CITROËN JAVEL FACTORY
During World War 2, the Javel factory is bombed. From 1945 it is rebuilt. In October 1946, Citroën presents 3 new models at the Paris Motor Show: the 11 B, 11 BL and 15/6. The event also sees the first presentation of the Type H, succeeding the TUB.
1948-1950 PRESENTATION OF CITROËN 2CV
The 2CV is presented at the Paris Motor Show. This new approach to individual transport will see 5 million of these cars made by 1990. In 1950 the van version is released, with 250kg of useful load, a speed of 60km/h and consumption of 5L/100km.
1955-1958 DS AND CITROËN ID 19
In 1955, Citroën presents the DS at the Paris Motor Show. Designed by Flaminio Bertoni, it is an aerodynamic and aesthetic revolution. In 1958, the ID 19 wins the Monte Carlo rally. Following this, Citroën decides to take part in other road races.
1960-1969 CITROËN AMI 6, DYANE AND MÉHARI
In 1960, the Ami 6 is launched across Europe. In 1967, the Dyane uses the mechanics of the 2 CV but has the versatility of an estate. In 1968, the Méhari shakes things up again. Off-road and all purpose, this car with a plastic body becomes iconic.
1970-1974 CITROËN SM, GS AND CX
The luxurious and sporty Citroën SM launches in 1970, improving on the innovation of the DS. The same year, the GS stands out for the most aerodynamic body. In 1974, the CX's hydropneumatic suspension and futuristic dashboard make the vehicle stand out.
1976-1978 CITROËN LN, LNA AND VISA
In 1976 the CX estate is presented for the first time, followed by the LN. The LN responds to the oil crisis with the smallest engine in the range. In 1978 come the LNA and Visa. These are the first standard cars with Integrated Electronic Ignition.
1980-1987 2CV CHARLESTONE, CITROËN BX AND AX
The limited edition 2CV Charleston comes in 1980. Its two-tone body is very popular and is mass produced. In 1982, the BX causes a stir, a modern hatchback saloon featuring 5 doors and 5 seats. Four years later the AX provides the surprise.
1989-1994 CITROËN XM, ZX AND JUMPER
The XM is a return to premium range with Hydractive suspension. A global first which sees it voted Car of the Year and receive 14 distinctions. In 1991, the ZX has sliding rear seats with adjustable back. In 1994, Citroën launches Jumper with PEUGEOT and Fiat.
1995-1998 CITROËN SAXO, BERLINGO AND XSARA PICASSO
Citroën unveils the Jumpy, a light commercial van. The Citroën Berlingo comes the next year, followed by the Berlingo Multispace and the Saxo. In 1997, for the centenary of the Paris Motor Show, Citroën unveils the Xsara Picasso, a compact MPV.
2000-2004 CITROËN C5 AND C3
In 2000 the Paris Motor Show welcomes the Citroën C5, combining elegance and dynamism. Two years later, the Citroën C3 is released in France. Its curves are reminiscent of the 2 CV. As is its reception!
2005-2008 CITROËN C1, C6, C4 PICASSO AND C-CROSSER
C1 production begins in 2005. The brand presents the C6, packed with technology. The next year, C4 Picasso becomes Citroën’s first compact MPV. The first SUV is launched in 2007, the C-Crosser. 2008 sees the C3 Picasso, notable for its capacity.
2009 CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIE
To mark its founder’s birthday, Citroën unveils its new brand signature: Creative Technologie. The brand also unveils a new 3D logo with rounded chrome chevrons. The word Citroën appears below in red letters.
2010-2012 C-ZERO AND DS LINE
In 2010 Citroën moves into the world of electric with the C-Zero. The first in a long line! The same year the DS line launches with the DS3 the first model. The DS4, a raised 4-door coupé, follows in 2011. There is a preview of the DS5 in Shanghai.
2014-2015 C4 CACTUS AND E-MÉHARI
In 2014, Citroën releases the C4 Cactus, an alternative to compact saloons combining both usage and aesthetics. At the end of the following year, the E-Méhari, an exciting 100% electric 4-seat convertible, is a modern tribute to the 1968 Méhari.
2017-2019 CITROËN SUVs
In 2017 comes Citroën's first SUV, the C3 Aircross. The C5 Aircross follows, a comfortable vehicle due to Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® and Advanced Comfort Seats. In 2019, the Citroën C5 Aircross SUV Hybrid is the brand's first plug-in hybrid.
The Gathering of the Century, part of Citroën's centenary celebrations, was held at La Ferté-Vidame. This site is iconic for the brand and was the birthplace of the 2CV in 1948. More than 10,000 collectors, 4,200 cars and over 60,000 people attended.
In early 2020, Citroën catches the entire market off guard with the AMI, an unconventional mobility solution. Electric and ultra-compact, it is accessible to all, no licence required and with à la carte and affordable offers.
CITROËN ORIGINS VIRTUAL MUSEUM
Launched in 2016 and accessible in 65 countries, this virtual museum showcases a collection of 83 iconic Citroën models.
It offers a unique immersive experience, both visual and audible, as you discover the brand’s models, in 3D, both interiors and exteriors.
Citroën has built an unparalleled automotive heritage from 1919 up to modern day. This heritage is honoured by the Conservatoire in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a museum that houses one of the world's largest collections of vehicles, more than 400 historic models.
Not forgetting the industrial and commercial archives that trace the history of an iconic brand.