Talk about innovations and breakthroughs in the car industry and you would surely be directed to Citroen. This French car brand has been setting the standards for superior quality of exterior beauty, reliability and performance and premium design. Citroen both as a car and as a company has been astounding markets all over the world.
When Citroen was introduced in France in 1919, the car brand was originally intended to target the masses. Tag prices for the vehicle were very reasonable and most people at that time were raving because they could easily afford to buy a Citroen. Sales of the cars were rapidly soaring and competition was practically knocked out.
However, this reasonable pricing scheme also provided the downfall for the company. Although sales were jumping constantly, margins of the firm eventually plummeted as operational costs and production material expenses increased. But that challenge never halted Citroen from coming up with innovative solutions to its problems.
In the year 1934, Citroen astonished the world when it launched the Traction Avant. The car model was the globe's pioneering front-wheel drive vehicle that was intended for mass production. Traction Avant set the lead in the engine and transmission layout that is commonly used in the manufacture of modern passenger cars. Front wheel drive cars have the features of having engines that drive the cars' front wheels.
Citroen also pioneered in the launch and production of cars that feature unique and innovative automobile design. Because of its innovative traits, Citroen was known as having resisted the straightforward designs usually taken by mass-market cars. The car brand proved that it is possible to integrate sophistication and comfortable designs into cars that are not even premium priced. Thus, middle-class people treated Citroen as their most prized possession in the past.
Aside from the superior features of its cars, Citroen also complemented its cars with innovative marketing initiatives that truly befit such quality cars. In the first quarter of the 20th century, Citroen set a Guinness record by coming out with the world's biggest advertising sign so far. Citroen used no less than the famous Paris historic landmark Eiffel Tower as its own billboard. From 1925 to 1934, the tower carried the lighted name Citroen, which glowed during nighttimes.
In 1976, amid a consolidation of the global car industry, Citroen merged with French car company Peugeot to form what is now known as PSA Peugeot Citroen. Prior to that combination, the two companies already forged a raw material purchase agreement in 1963 to 1965.
As proof of the Citroen brand's superior performance, the car received three European car of the year awards in its entire lifetime. The years 1971, 1975 and 1990 were proof that Citroen indeed was a recognized car name in terms of overall quality. Now, from France, Citroen is being distributed in other offshore markets like Australia, Spain and India.
Citroen is a living legacy of the thriving French car industry. The brand has proven time and again that quality does not need to come along with hefty tag prices.
Original Authors: Manny
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 10/06/2008