Citroen History, Part II: The fall and the rise

History, Part II

On August 26th 1974 the CX 2000 and the CX2200 were introduced replacing the DS. It was a car with innovations similar to the GS and again its best feature was its superb aerodynamics. As concerns of the driving it was said that after ten minutes you would never want to drive it again but after one hour you would never want to drive anything else. At the same time the company was testing the Wankel engines publicly with the hydraulically suspended coupe Ami M35 before the release of the GS birotor which had a Wankel engine consisted of two rotors. A tri-rotor was introduced for the CX model but as a typical Wankel engine it was not economical at all and same applied to the birotor. The big expensive saloon cars and the fuel-consuming rotary engines finally brought Citroen to the boundaries of bankruptcy when the oil crisis hit.

In the year 1974 Michelin sold Citroen to Peugeot with the confirmation of the French government. The new group was called PSA. Peugeot’s intensions were to make Citroen a more conventional marque accessible to everyone without the eccentricities of the past. Georges Taylor was the Chairman and Managing Director when Citroen introduced the LN  and the Visa (this replaced the Ami 8), both small cars which in fact were re-engineered Peugeots. Jacques Lombard was the next Chairman and Managing Director until 1982 when Jean Baratte took over. Whatsoever he didn’t stayed in the position longer than one year until a new person, Jacques Calvet took over. In the early 80ies the BX was introduced. A car that would save Citroen from bankruptcy. It was designed by Bertone and it offered low weight due to the big amount of plastics used and also offered hydropneumatics. The two next models were the AX, a small conventional car that was a commercial success, and the XM an executive big tourer, replacement of the CX that never went well on sales.  The next step for Citroen was the ZX a slightly biger car than AX which had the same commercial success and later on the Xantia which replaced the BX. The Xantia was better built than it predecessor and used the XM’s electronically-controlled suspension. As it turned out Xantia was a big success. Same was with Xsara too later on which was the replacement of the ZX and was offered as an alternative to cars from Ford, VW and FIAT. The 1997 released Xsara was also a huge commercial success but the biggest of all Peugeot owned Citroen successes was the small 1995 released Saxo which was the most modified and tuned Citroen by external partners.

The BX

The BX

The Xantia

The Xantia

The Xsara

The Xsara

The Saxo

The Saxo

Citroen Racing, previously known as Citroen Sport is the Citroen’s department committed to racing. The Citroen’s racing history begins in 1986 and continues until today. The first big victories came in 1993 when Citroen won the Rally Raid Manufacturers Championship. They also won the Dakar Rally in 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996.

In 1997 Jacques Calvet retired and Jean-Martin Folz succeded him on the Chairman position. Unlike the banker and financial specialist Calvet, Folz was an engineer and industrialist under whose command Citroen would differ again for its originality and  individuality among its rivals with a wide range of models. This range would be widened up with the Berlingo mini-van or MPV vehicle sibling to the Peugeot equivalent and the best seller, distinctive for its design Xsara Picasso, rival to Renault Megane Scenic. Xantia’s replacement was the 2001 released C5. This big saloon car used decentralized hydraulic system and was loaded with electronics. In 2001 Citroen enters the World Rally Championship. In 2003 won it’s fist championship with French driver Sebastian Loeb on the wheel of a Xsara. The manufacturer’s championships continued until 2005 and then again continued from 2008 until 2012. Sebastian Loeb won the driver’s championship with a Xsara WRC the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and with a C4 WRC the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. Finally Loeb won the championships of 2011 and 2012 with a DS3 WRC. In the meantime Citroen released the supermini class C2 which was designed by Donato Coco (born 1956) the same designer who designed the Pluriel, a small convertible.  The Citroen sales in 2003 were 1,372,500 cars, according to the PSA group’s 2003 annual report. In May 2006 Citroen releases the C6 an executive car designed by Jean Pierre Ploue. The company’s seven seater MPV is the Grand Picasso which is also available in a 5 seat version. In 2007 the C-Crosser was released: an SUV with collaboration with Mitsubishi. Another car was released in 2010 which again is in collaboration with Mitsubishi, the C-Zero which is a supermini vehicle powered by an electric engine. In the meantime C1 was released which is the smallest of Citroen’s models. In 2008 the C5 was redesigned and reengineered and in 2009 the second edition of C3 came into production too. Citroen has also a wide range of professional vehicles like the smallest Nemo, the Berlingo, the Dispatch and the biggest Relay. Citroen has also produced trucks like the 1966 Belphegor and also buses at the past.

The DS3 WRC

The DS3 WRC

The GTbyCitroen is a concept supercar that was first revealed on the Paris International Motor Show in 2008. It was designed by Takumi Yamamoto for Japanese racing simulation developer Polyphony Digital. The design of this car is something that brought Citroen to the spotlight once again. Same happened with the Revolte which again was a concept car revealed in the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. This time a compact city car.

The GTbyCitroen

The GTbyCitroen

The Revolte

The Revolte

In 2009 the first of the DS series car was introduced, the DS3. DS stands for De’esse which means goddess in French. For others DS stands for Different Spirit. The DS is an internal Citroen executive brand. This B segment car which is still in production is based on the second generation of the C3 and it is distinguished for its exterior and interior design. It aims for the market with rivals such as the BMW Mini, the Alfa Romeo Mito, the Audi A1 and the Opel Adam. On October of 2010 in the Paris International Motor Show the DS4 was revealed which got into production in 2011. Later that year the DS5 was released and was put into production in November 2011. The car’s coefficient drug is 0.30 a superb value for a vehicle with SUV elements as its platform is.

The DS3

The DS3

The DS5

The DS5

From the boundaries of bankruptcy and limited innovations Citroen reached again its original position in the hearts and minds of the public as a brand which differs from its competition and is always one step further. Cutting edge design and technology shoots Citroen to success. Right now the future looks bright  and we all expect the new creations of this historical car manufacturer.

References:

Books:

Title:Citroën : Daring to be different, Author:John Reynolds 1941 May 31-, Publisher: Yeovil : Haynes, Identifier: ISBN1859608965 (cased);ISBN9781859608968, Creation Date: 2003, Language: English

URL:

http://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/heritage_citroen.htm  (27 Oct. 2013)

http://www.citroenet.org.uk/miscellaneous/history/history03.html (27 Oct. 2013)

http://www.citroencarclub.org.uk/drupal/node/25 (28 Oct. 2013)

http://www.citroencarclub.org.uk/drupal/node/26 (28 Oct. 2013)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Citro%C3%ABn_vehicles (28 Oct. 2013)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_DS3 (28 Oct. 2013)

http://www.citroencarclub.org.uk/drupal/node/44 (28 Oct. 2013)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GT_by_Citro%C3%ABn (28 Oct. 2013)

http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_DS3 (28 Oct. 2013)

http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_DS5 (28 Oct. 2013)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_Revolte (28 Oct. 2013)

http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/wheeldeal/2010/11/10/citroen-ds3-wrc-french-firepower-reloaded/ (29 Oct. 2013)

http://moto.pl/MotoPL/1,88389,6637110,GTbyCitroen_wyprezy_muskuly.html (29 Oct. 2013)

http://www.ajovalo.net/Historia/citroen_bx.htm (28 Oct. 2013)

http://csrdelft.nl/ccd/typen/xantia.htm (28 Oct. 2013)

http://www.outrefranc.com/modeles/citroen/citroenxsara.shtml (28 Oct. 2013)

http://www.virtualtuning.it/vt_showpic_zoom.php?idimg=2003&tipo=01 (28 Oct. 2013)

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