Citroen has the distinct honor of being the first auto-manufacturer outside of the United States to establish mass production of its vehicles- a technique that was developed through knowledge and experience with the mass-production of weapons in WWI. The company is today known for pioneering the current concept of designing a service and sales network that complements the automobile. In other words, Citroen found a way to keep people coming back to a dealership, even after the sales of their automobiles were completed. Citroen was created in 1919 by Andr?-Gustave Citroen, a French businessman, and within 8 years, the company had become the largest vehicle manufacturer in Europe, along with the fourth largest on a global level.
The company's slogan, "Cr?ative Technologie," speaks volumes about its mission to provide revolutionary, innovative engineering using quality automobiles. In 1919, Citroen produced its first automobile- the Type A, which was equipped with a 4-cylinder engine, a spare wheel, and six different body styles. By 1920, Citroen had sold over twenty thousand cars. By 1921, the company pioneered Paris taxi service, and by 1922 and 1924, it had two best sellers: the lemon-yellow Type C, and the Clover Leaf- a three-seater version of the same vehicle. Also in 1924, Citroen produced the first-ever all-steel-bodied vehicle in the Citroen B-10. During this period, the company was known for its famous Sahard dessert adventure tours as well. Citroen faced many financial challenges due to the Wall Street Crash, but it was able to rebound successfully.
Ten years later, in 1934, the company followed this success with its production of the original mass-produced front-wheel drive vehicle, the 11CV Traction Avant, which also showcased a monocoque-type body- one of the first vehicles in the industry to do so. It was offered in three body styles, and is one of the brand's best-selling vehicles of all time. Citroen is known for many of its innovations during the next few years. In 1954, after production nearly stopped during the second War, the auto manufacturer released the original hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension system. The next year saw the production of the Citroen DS, the first mass-produced European vehicle featuring disc brakes. Swiveling headlights were introduced on several Citroen vehicles in 1967 to allow for better driver visibility. From this point until its 90th Anniversary in 2009, Citroen continued to produced vehicles inspired by new technologies.
To celebrate its anniversary, Citroen presented a new brand identity through its new logo. A special edition C3 Picasso was launched, and the company announced that it would set up a premium series of cars using its DS name. In early 2012, this line was launched with the presentation of the DS3, a small car based on the fresh C3. This was followed by the hefty DS4 and the DS5- all including the new logo.
Since Citroen's inception through the present time, it has competed with many well-known companies such as Fiat, Renault, and Fiat, but outweighs these companies with its focus on high safety standards. The new Citroen 2CV, in particular, competes with VW's 2012 Beetle.