During a trip to Poland in 1900, André Citroën discovered a new process at the time, involving metal gears. One of the systems used chevrons. As an engineer and a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, the future founder of Citroën acquired the license and adapted it for his French factories. He then chose to make the double chevron the emblem of his first company.
100 YEARS OF HISTORY
1919 ANDRÉ CITROËN
Boldness. Creativity. Technology. Three words that illustrate the vision of the automotive industry pioneer André Citroën. The great Citroën adventure began in 1919 with the launch of the Citroën Type A.
1921-1922 ADVERTISING IN THE SKY OF PARIS
In 1921, Citroën introduced the second model in its range: the B2. This was followed by the Citroën 5HP at the Paris Motor Show. To mark the opening of the show, an airplane wrote "Citroën" in full in the sky over the capital.
1922-1924 SAHARA AND AFRICA CRUISE
To demonstrate the reliability of his cars, André Citroën decided in 1992 to launch his 10HP B2 autochénille to conquer the Sahara Desert. Buoyed by its success, two years later he organized the "Croisière Noire" (Black Cruise), which crossed the entire African continent from north to south.
1926-1930 CITROËN B14, C6 1 ET C4
In 1926, Citroën introduced its B14, a widely distributed car treated like a luxury vehicle. It was a resounding success. Three years later, the C6 1, the first fast French utility vehicle, was launched. And in 1930, the commercial C4 made its debut, equipped with removable seats and a two-part tailgate.
1931 YELLOW CRUISE IN ASIA
Five years after the Black Cruise, Citroën journeyed across the Asian continent from Beirut to Beijing. Named the "Citroën Central Asia Expedition," the Yellow Cruise aimed to demonstrate to the world the technical prowess of their vehicles.
1932-1934 CITROËN ROSALIE AND TRACTION AVANT
Even before the 1932 Paris Motor Show opened its doors, the latest creation from the Citroën factories, available in 8, 10, and 15 horsepower models, had an exceptional reputation. Dubbed "Rosalie," it was already setting speed records on the Linas-Montlhéry racetrack. In 1934, a new revolution came with the Traction Avant, named for its front-wheel drive configuration.
1935 CITROËN IN DIFFICULTY
Unfortunately, the release of the Traction Avant does not prevent the company from facing financial difficulties. In late 1934, in order to prevent the brand from collapsing, Michelin acquires Citroën. On July 3, 1935, André Citroën passes away. Pierre Boulanger then takes over the double-chevron brand.
1936-1939 TRACTION AVANT 15-SIX AND TUB
In 1938, the Traction Avant family expanded with the introduction of the 15-Six. Comfortable and fast, it earned the nickname "The Queen of the Road". The following year, the TUB was introduced for professionals, featuring a significant innovation: its sliding side loading door.
1945-1947 RECONSTRUCTION OF THE CITROËN JAVEL FACTORY
During the Second World War, the Javel factory came to a halt due to a devastating bombing. Starting in 1945, the factory was rebuilt. In 1946, at the October motor show, Citroën introduced three new models: the Berline 11, 11 légère, and 15/6. The event also marked the first presentation of the Type H, which succeeded the TUB.
1948-1950 INTRODUCTION OF THE 2 CV
The 2 CV is finally presented to the public at the Paris Motor Show. This innovative approach to individual transportation would be manufactured in more than 5 million units until 1990. In 1950, the van version is released, with a payload of 250 kg, a top speed of 60 km/h, and a fuel consumption of 5 L/100 km.
1955-1958 DS AND CITROËN ID 19
In 1955, Citroën unveiled the DS at the Paris Motor Show. Designed by Flaminio Bertoni, the car was an aerodynamic and aesthetic revolution. In 1958, the ID 19 won the Monte Carlo Rally. It was after this victory that Citroën decided to venture into road racing competitions.
1960-1969 CITROËN AMI 6, DYANE AND MÉHARI
In 1960, the Ami 6 was launched simultaneously throughout Europe. In 1967, the Dyane adopted the mechanics of the 2 CV but with the modularity of an estate car. And in 1968, the Méhari once again broke the mold. All-terrain and versatile, this car with its plastic body became an icon of its time.
1970-1974 CITROËN SM, GS AND CX
Luxurious and sporty, the SM, launched in 1970, builds upon the innovations of the DS. In the same year, the GS stands out with the most aerodynamic body in the market. In 1974, the CX presents the synthesis of the brand's research. Its hydropneumatic suspensions and futuristic dashboard would leave a lasting mark on the automotive industry.
1976-1978 CITROËN LN, LNA AND VISA
In 1976, the CX estate was first introduced, followed by the LN at the Paris Motor Show. The LN was a response to the oil crisis, offering the smallest engine in the range. In 1978, the brand launched the LNA and the Visa. These were the first production cars equipped with Integrated Electronic Ignition.
1980-1987 2 CV CHARLESTONE, CITROËN BX AND AX
Launched as a limited series in 1980, the 2 CV Charleston was so popular with its two-tone body that it went into full production. In 1982, Citroën made a lasting impression with the BX, a modern-designed sedan that offered 5 doors and 5 seats. Four years later, it was the AX that took everyone by surprise.
1989-1994 CITROËN XM, ZX AND JUMPER
Returning to the high-end segment with the XM, equipped with intelligent Hydractive suspension. A world-first that earned it the title of "Car of the Year" and 14 other awards. In 1991, the ZX introduced a sliding rear seat with an adjustable backrest. In 1994, Citroën launched the Jumper in collaboration with Peugeot and Fiat.
1995-1998 CITROËN SAXO, BERLINGO AND XSARA PICASSO
Citroën introduces the Jumpy, its compact utility vehicle. Following this, Citroën Berlingo arrives the following year, closely 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 sedan and MPV.
2000-2004 CITROËN C5 AND C3
The 2000 Paris Motor Show welcomes the Citroën C5, a synthesis of elegance and dynamism. Two years later, the Citroën C3 is launched in France. Its curves are reminiscent of those of the 2 CV. Its reception, too!
2005-2008 CITROËN C1, C6, C4 PICASSO AND C-CROSSER
The production of the C1 is launched in 2005. The brand presents the C6, a technological showcase. The following year, the first compact minivan from Citroën, the C4 Picasso, makes its debut. In 2007, the first SUV is launched, named the C-Crosser. In 2008, it's the turn of the C3 Picasso, which stands out for its spaciousness.
2009 CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
On the day of its founder's birthday, Citroën unveils its new brand signature: Creative Technologie. The brand also reveals a completely new logo with chrome and rounded chevrons in 3D. Below, "Citroën" is written in red letters.
2010-2012 C-ZÉRO AND LIGNE DS
It was in 2010 that Citroën launched its electric offensive with the new city car, the C-Zéro. The first of a long line! In the same year, the DS line was inaugurated, with the DS3 as its first model. The DS4, a raised 4-door coupe, followed in 2011. And the DS5 was unveiled in a preview in Shanghai.
2014-2015 C4 CACTUS AND E-MÉHARI
With the C4 Cactus, Citroën offered an alternative to compact sedans in 2014 by reconciling utility and aesthetics. At the end of the following year, the E-Méhari, a 4-seat optimistic and 100% electric convertible, gives a modern nod to the 1968 Méhari.
2017-2019 CITROËN'S SUV RANGE
In 2017, Citroën enters the world of SUVs with the C3 Aircross. It is followed by the C5 Aircross, known for its ultra-comfortable ride thanks to its Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® suspension and Advanced Comfort Seats. In 2019, the Citroën C5 Aircross Hybrid SUV emerges as the brand's first plug-in hybrid model.
100 YEARS OF CITROËN
For Citroën's 100th anniversary, "The Centenary Gathering" took place at the La Ferté-Vidame site. This legendary location for the brand notably witnessed the creation of the 2 CV, launched in 1948. More than 10,000 collectors, 4,200 cars, and over 60,000 people participated in this historic event.
In early 2020, Citroën surprised the entire market with AMI, a non-conformist mobility solution. Electric and ultra-compact, it is accessible to everyone, without the need for a driver's license, and comes with customizable and affordable offers.
CITROËN ORIGINS VIRTUAL MUSEUM
Launched in 2016 and accessible in 65 countries, this virtual museum brings together a collection of 83 iconic Citroën vehicles.
It offers a unique immersive experience, both visually and aurally, allowing the exploration of the brand's models in 3D, both indoors and outdoors.
From 1919 to the present day, Citroën has built an unparalleled automotive heritage. This legacy is preserved by the Aulnay-sous-Bois Conservatory, a physical museum housing one of the largest collections of historic automobiles in the world, with over 400 models.
Not to mention the industrial and commercial archives that trace the history of this iconic brand.