André Citroën, son of a Dutch father and a Polish mother, started out as a manager at the Mors car manufacturer in 1908. At the
beginning of the First World War he quickly observes that the French army has a
great shortage of munitions. He prepares a business plan for the mass
production of shells, which turns into an unprecedented success.
The visionary André Citroën quickly realises that the Great War would not last long. He prepares
his future: the production of cars in series for the masses.
The first Citroën Type A, a 4-seater version with a canvas top, can be
considered to be the French version of the Ford T.
The model was only available in army grey – It would appear that André Citroën was able to purchase a large quantity of paint emanating from the army.
Citroën rapidly becomes the top car manufacturer of France and even Europe. An amazing
communicator, André Citroën promoted his make with boldness and ingenuity.
Showing no interest for company policy, the business soon experiences financial
difficulties, which brings the expensive development of the “Traction” into
jeopardy. On the verge of insolvency in 1934 André allows Michelin to take over
control of his company and he dies in 1935. He would therefore never see the
success of the “Tractions” in its 7-11-15 versions.
After the war the incredible 2CV, the Type H van and the fascinating ID/DS ensure that Citroën would belong to the legendary makes out of automotive history.
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Parc du Cinquantenaire 11
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