Founded in Paris in 1919 by French industrialist Andre-Gustave Citroen, it was the first mass-production car company outside the USA and within eight years Citroen had become Europe's largest car manufacturer and the 4th largest in the world. The company has always focused on technical innovation and safety and has notched up a number of firsts, including the world's first mass-produced front-wheel drive car, the first European production car with disc brakes and the first swiveling headlights allowing for greater visibility on winding roads.
During the Second World War occupation years, Citroen's director Pierre-Jules Boulanger organized a "go slow" sabotage of the production of trucks for the Wehrmacht by putting the notch on the oil dipstick in the wrong place, resulting in engine seizure! Although synonymous with that quirky French sense of style with such models as the iconic Citroen DS, often labelled as the most stylish car ever to roll off a production line, and the ultra-basic 2-horsepower Citreon 2CV, they have built up a solid reputation for comfortable, reliable models such as the Xantia, C4 and C5.
The origin of the logo can be traced back to a trip made by the 22-year-old Andre Citroen to Lodz in Poland, where he discovered an innovative design for a chevron-shaped gear used in milling steel. Mechanically a gear with diagonal teeth produces an unwanted sideways force, but by adding a second gear with teeth on an opposing diagonal, this force is cancelled out. The two chevrons of the logo represent the intermeshing contact of the two gears. Over the years the style of the logo has gradually changed, with the latest form, designed by Landor Associates, being launched in 2009 to mark Citroen's 90th anniversary
Why not have a look at the official Citroen company web site and get the latest news about Citroen in the UK at The Citroen Owners' Club site. You may also like to see what they're saying about new Citroen cars on the Top Gear web site.
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First Vehicle Leasing is sure to have a new Citroen finance deal for you!
SMALL AND SENSIBLE: Smarter looks and the option of a pair of frugal Pure Tech three cylinder petrol engines have revitalised Citroen's C3 and kept it current in a closely fought supermini segment. Jonathan Crouch reports
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