History of the Citroën: A French Favorite
If you've ever seen a Citroën in Springfield, MO, you know it's a cool car, but what else do you know about it? Here are some interesting facts about the vehicle and its origins brought to you by Jordan Valley Auto Body Repair, Llc.:
The Citroën is a French car named for company founder André-Gustave Citroën, (1878–1935), who was born in Paris in 1878 to Amalie Kleimmann, a Polish Jew, and Dutch Jewish diamond merchant Levie Citroën who died when Andre was six.
He built armaments for France during World War I; but after the war, knew he wanted to build cars; something he had experience with, having had a successful six-year career with Mors between 1908 and the outbreak of the war.
He knew the best post-war auto manufacturing opportunities lay in creating a good quality lighter car, produced in sufficient quantities to be reasonably priced. In 1917, Citroën contacted Jules Salomon, another engineer with a considerable reputation for creating a little car called Le Zèbre, and asked him to help produce an all-new, better equipped, more robust and less expensive 10 HP than any rival product at the time.
The firm was founded in 1919, with the Citroën Type A – Citroen’s first car brand; a model lacking technical features but featuring a low price. A second model came along a few months later, with a 4-cylinder engine.
A keen marketer— Citroën used the Eiffel Tower as the world's largest advertisement, as recorded in Guinness World Records, sites say.
Several dozen models were developed between 1925 and 1929, helping Citroën become the leading auto manufacturer in Europe, sites say.
All Citroën models had steel bodies; an important advantage over its competitors, which also took to making steel-bodied cars within a few years.
The firm produced the world’s first hydropneumatic, self-leveling suspension system in 1954, followed in 1955 by the revolutionary DS, the first mass production car with modern disc brakes, Citroën introduced swiveling headlights in 1967, for greater visibility on winding roads, sites say.
In 1934, Citroën developed the Traction Avant -- the world's first mass-produced front-wheel drive car, and among the first to feature a unitary-type body, with no chassis frame holding the mechanical components.
In 1979, the firm passed to Peugeot, but the brand has maintained it popularity and in 2000 passed its millionth car sold.
With a showroom, on Paris’ Champs Elysées, Citroën cars have earned numerous national and international awards, including three European Car of the Year honors.
Citroën has a successful motorsport history, and is the only automobile manufacturer to win three different official championships from the International Automobile Federation.
Citroën has been selling cars in China since 1984, and in 2014, when PSA Peugeot Citroën ran into serious money problems, the Chinese Dongfeng Motor Corporation took an ownership stake.
André Citroën died of stomach cancer In 1935.
The brand celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2009.
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Sources: Wikipedia.com, Car-from-uk.com and TIME