How Citroën, Which Produced Bullets for World War I, Became an Automotive Giant

Today, one of the most important car brands in the world, the French citroën brand has shown that success is a well-deserved thing by producing more than 300 models in the car market, where it has been for more than 100 years. Let’s take a closer look at the amazing details of Citroën’s story, which is full of battles, challenges, races.

Citroën, one of the most important brands in the world, which you can no doubt mention without mentioning the car by name, has gained a considerable place in the car market after more than 100 years of travel. There are more than 300 models by Citroën that design not only cars, but also a lifestyle. With a hundred years of history, the brand is one of the most important living witnesses in recent history.

The Citroën brand has its history of wars, economic crises, races and, more importantly, a story of perseverance. It is not only the brand’s founder André Citroën who has permanence, but also the other executives who took over this flag from him and brought the brand to this day. The astonishing details are hidden in the story of the French Citroën brand, which is now a car giant, full of achievements as well as challenges.

It all started with the production of bullets:André Citroën

Born in 1878, engineer André Citroën, founder of the Citroën brand, founded a factory that produced gear wheels with his friends after leaving the army, where he worked as an engineer officer. During World War I, this factory started producing 20,000 howitzer rounds a day and 55,000 howitzers a few weeks later. After the war is over André Citroën decided to shift production power to the automobile manufacturing market.

In 1919, the first Citroën car, the Type A, was launched. Realising the importance of advertising, André Citroën flew a Citroën into the sky at the 1922 Paris Motor Show. In 1925, the Citroën inscription was written on the Eiffel Tower at an altitude of 30 meters using 600 kilometers of cable.

André Citroën prepared a special fleet to demonstrate the power of semi-tracked vehicles launched in 1922 and sent it to the Deserts of Africa. Together with the B10, the first steel-bodied car, these vehicles proved their strength by crossing the African continent from north to south. Citroën produced 50,000 vehicles in 1924.

The first models citroen produced:

Citroën Type A

Citroën introduced the first French commercial vehicle, the B15, along with one of the most

luxurious vehicles of the period, the C6 1, the first high-speed truck, and the improved C4F in 1929. In 1931, André Citroën set his sights on the Asian market and performed a similar show in Africa.

Citroën, which continues its development process without slowing down; After introducing the 8CV, 10 CV and 15 CV models at the Paris Motor Show, in 1934, the Type 7A breathed new life into the automobile world. But even these innovations could not prevent the company from going through a difficult period.

In 1935, with the loss of André Citroën, the founder of Citroën, he was replaced by Pierre Boulanger as CEO. Boulanger’s legacy was an endless battle with the government over serious financial difficulties and Michelin debts. The company had no choice but to take steps to restart everything.

World War II and the citroën factory that was blown up:Citroën, second world war

After 1936, Citroën introduced new models in succession and regained its former strength. Models introduced during this period included 11 MI diesels, the new member of the Traction Avant series 15-Six and the new commercial vehicle TUB. In the process, the vehicles were being refurbished and gasoline models were intended to deliver much stronger performance.

Citroën’s work was carried out during World Years. It didn’t slow down even during World War II, until its factories in Javel were blown up during the bombardment in 1945. Quickly recovering from its injuries, the company was able to present the 11B, 11BL and 15-SixG models at the Paris Motor Show in the same year. In 1948, more than five million 2CV models were introduced by 1990.

In 1955 and beyond, Citroën introduced the DS, the first four-wheel-drive truck, the 46 DCU, which appeared to have come out of sci-fi films at the time, and the ID 19, which would win the Monte Carlo rally. Along with id 19, Citroën has publicly announced that it is one of the car brands ready to take its place in the racing world.

The years are fast for Citroën:

Citroën, dyane

Citroën achieved a first in 1961 by offering the Ami 6 all over Europe on the same day, leaving an unforgettable signature to 1960s Europe with its legendary Dyane series. Citroën launched the SM in the early 1970s, a collaboration with the Maserati, and was named car of the year in 1971 with the GS model.

In 1978, the commercial vehicle Acadiane, a compact version of the Dyane series, was introduced. Citroën became the favorite brand of the Paris Motor Show in the same year with its LNA and Visa models. In the 1980s, Citroën continued its efforts to make commercial vehicles more compact and was again a pioneer with its more sports and daily use models.

Although it is not well known in our country, the Citroën XM model was the breaking point of the company:

Citroën, Xsara Picasso

The Citroën XM was awarded 14 international awards and marked the automobile world of 1990. The 13th edition of the ZX Rallye is the first of its generation. With the win of the Paris-Dakar rally, it was demonstrated that Citroën now has an unshakeable place in the racing world.

In 1997, the Paris Motor Show celebrated its 100th anniversary after the introduction of AX Electric and the saxo models, which have now become a legend. During the celebration, of course, Citroën, the fair’s favorite brand for years, stood out and presented the Xsara Picasso to car lovers.

Citroën in the 21st century:


By the 2000s, Citroën had now entered the World Rally Championship and made a name for itself with improved versions of the C3, C5 and C8 models. The C-Crosser, the brand’s first SUV vehicle, was introduced in 2007. In 2008, the new Citroën C5 was introduced, breathing new life into the automobile world.

After 2009, Citroën became the Citroën as we know it today with the rightful pride of being a worldwide brand by introducing the new C3, C-Zero, C4 models in succession as of February 5th, the birth date of its founder.

Citroën founder André Citroën’s journey by producing bullets in a small factory took more than 100 years, and today Citroën has become one of the most important brands in the world. Citroën has brought more than 300 models into the world of automobiles on this fascinating journey and continues its innovative work without slowing down.

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