The name CITROEN with its incomparable logo has been synonymous with innovation, design, adventure and pleasure for almost a century. Its history is filled with countless facts that have left their mark on the European and world automotive industry. When engineer Andre Citroen started selling cars with his surname in 1919, he was already a specialist in mass production methods and automotive technology. He founded his first company in 1902 after completing his military service. He registered the patent for a gear cutting technique he had discovered in Poland, whose main characteristic was the shape of the teeth in ‘V’. In 1907 he discovered the auto industry when he agreed to help Mors, a troubled Paris-based carmaker, but famous for breaking speed records in the early 1900s. He accepted the challenge of recovering the company and began to work hard, reorganizing the workshops and defining new models. In a few years, Mors cars attracted more and more consumers, the financial situation improved and the company returned to profits. In 1912, Citroen-Hinstin became a joint-stock company of CITRO gears. In the same year, on a trip to the United States, he visited Henry Ford’s factories and became familiar with the principles of organizing work in workshops. Like Henry Ford, he decided to produce a simple car model with strong popular appeal. It revolutionized the market by introducing the Type A 10CV in the year 1919. Manufactured already with series production techniques, the Type A was launched with complete bodywork including four stamped metal wheels with tires, spare tire, two headlights and a starting electric motor. The 5CV, for example, presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1921 and later dubbed ‘Trefle’ (clover), was the first really popular series-produced car in Europe. It was in this same year that the company began to conquer other markets, exporting 3 thousand cars, largely to European countries. In 1923 his first subsidiary was opened in England. Convinced that the world would increasingly need automobiles, in 1924 the company opened a network of subsidiaries in Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne, Milan, Geneva and Copenhagen to dispose of approximately 17,000 exported cars. Next year, Andre Citroen was ahead of his time in the use of modern communication and advertising. In 1928, Citroen introduced the first all-metal vehicle in Europe. Between 1919 and 1934, he used various forms of communication available to publicize the brand and its products. Some examples include road signs, taxis, guarantee and insurance, spare parts, toys, lighting the Eiffel Tower with the word CITROEN, Europe’s largest shop – in Paris, as well as sponsoring expeditions to Asia and Africa with the intention to demonstrate the potential of their cars equipped with Kegresse traction systems to regions of hostile climates. The expeditions were an advertising success.
The invention of the floating engine, which when placed on rubber sheets prevented vibrations from being transmitted to the car, developed in 1932, captured the imagination of Andre Citroen, who bought the exclusive license of its use in Europe. At first the cars became a success. But soon the competitors, who still used wood in the structure of their vehicles, began to adopt the new design. Andre did not have the opportunity to redesign the structure of his vehicles and they came to be seen as retrograde. Citroen sold large quantities despite the retro look of its cars, as the low cost and lightness of the models were its strongest points. This encouraged Andre to develop the Traction Avant , a car so innovative that there would be no competition at the time in motor racing. The model had three revolutionary features: the monoblock structure, independent suspension on the front tires and the front steering. The model was launched in 1934, and revolutionized the auto industry. Manufactured for 23 years, from May 1934 to July 1957, its original model, the 7, quickly reached the mark of 300 vehicles marketed per day. Since launching the Type A 10CV, Andre had the vision to develop a version called the ‘delivery car’. He was convinced of the commercial potential of commercial vehicles and continued to develop them. The TUB model in 1939 and Type H produced between 1948 and 1981, anticipated the modern light commercial vehicles with traction in the front wheels, monoblock steel body, flat and low floor to facilitate the service of load, sliding side door, easy access and advanced position for the driver. Find more information on buy land-rover indoor car covers.
With the passing of Andre Citroen, Pierre Michelin and Pierre Boulanger bought the company in 1940. During the German occupation of France in World War II, the company continued with its work, developing concepts that later came to the market through 2CV models (Deux Cheveux ) and DS (affectionately dubbed by frog-mouth). These have been widely criticized by contemporary journalists as radicals and even as avant-garde solutions for automotive design. This started a strange period of loyalty to CITRO ,N, normally seen only in brands such as Porsche and Ferrari, generating a kind of desire for cars by the Citroenistas, which would last almost two decades. With the end of the conflict, more precisely in 1948, the automaker launched the new 5CV model, a car that surprised Europe and became synonymous with popular car in France. In 1955, CITROEN debuted the hydroactive suspension with a revolutionary design in its cars that would modify the world-wide design of vehicles. The decade of 60 was marked by the style and contemporary lines of the automaker. The constant-load hydropneumatic suspension, initially launched on the rear axle of the latest 15 Six model, has created new standards of comfort and efficiency. In 1962, this system saved the life of General Charles de Gaulle during an attack in Petit-Clamart. In 1970 it was launched by the company, a car like no other, with the participation of Italian Maserati: the ZM model with V6 engine and 170 horsepower.
In the middle of this decade, the French automaker, which suffered major financial losses, largely because of the failure of the Comotor rotary engine, was weak and unable to fight against the collapse of the auto market that accompanied the 1973 oil embargo. This was a sign threatening of what was yet to come, and in less than a year the automaker was on the verge of bankruptcy. The French Government, in the fear of mass layoffs, coordinated the negotiations that resulted in the merger between Automobiles Citroen and Automobiles Peugeotin 1976 , forming a single company called PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN . The successful merger was the salvation for both automakers. In 1981, James Bond, piloted a 5CV in the film ‘007 only for his eyes’, providing great visibility for French brand worldwide. In 1991 the automaker inaugurated a factory in China, entering a huge consumer market, and soon after, it launched the Xantia model, a car that combined comfort and modernity. In the following years the company launched numerous successful models such as Berlingo; the Xsara, which benefited from a successful aesthetic, becoming the precursor in its segment; the compact C3; the Xsara Picasso sedan, a minivan sedan, which was introduced with a wonderful commercial called ‘Robot’; the C5, which was launched with great pomp, highlighting, mainly, the technological features and comfort of the vehicle; and the state-of-the-art C8, the latest generation of high-tech vans positioned at the top of the line of all-purpose vehicles and essentially family-friendly.
Believing in the power of dreams, which translates the brand’s worldwide slogan, ‘The Power of Dreams’, HONDA made history. It evolved from legendary motorcycle engines and then to current inventions, such as hybrid vehicles and fuel cell cars. Since its foundation, the company prioritizes the safety and well-being of people and the preservation of the environment for future generations, developing efficient products with low emission of pollutants. A dynamic past and a promising future. Thus, HONDA breaks paradigms and records, and strengthens its values to reaffirm its mission of being a company desired by society. Looking ahead, it plans its goals to become the absolute leader in the mobility segment and continue to deliver innovative products that will surprise consumers. The story began on September 24, 1948 when Honda Motor Co Ltd. was founded. That year, Japan rose after being devastated by World War II. In the middle of the rebuilding process, Soichiro Honda was able to identify a business opportunity: the need for a fast and cheap means of transportation was increasing. Adding his expertise as a mechanic to an initial capital of 1 million yen and the work of 34 employees, he opened his engine factory in Hamamatsu city. The first invention was the auxiliary bike engine (named A-type), which would be the genesis for HONDA’s first prototype, the Dream D (98 cc) two-stroke engine, built in 1949. The name Dream was given in reference to Sochiro’s dream of building a complete motorcycle. It was this year that Takeo Fujisawa, his inseparable companion, was playing an important role in the development of the company. In caring for the commercial and financial area, he freed the founder for the mechanical and technological development of the products.
In 1951 the bike sold about 130 units per day, proving the company’s success in betting on this type of vehicle. At this time the success of the company was due to the entrepreneurial spirit of overcoming challenges and seeking constant improvement to ensure the satisfaction of its customers. The following year the company launched the F-Type, a 50 cc motorcycle, which in less than a year reached the mark of 6,500 units sold per month. However, the product that would forever mark the history of HONDA came a decade later: Super Cub, the best-selling motorcycle of all time. In 2008, the model hit the 60 million mark sold in 160 countries around the world. Expanding its field of action, in 1953, HONDA decided to invest in the manufacture of H-type power products, for general uses. In contrast, the motorcycle market was growing at an accelerated pace with exports to various countries. To meet the growing demand of customers around the world, the company crossed the border to inaugurate its first overseas unit in 1959: the American Honda Motor Co, in the United States, where it popularized motorcycle use. From there, it spread rapidly to several European countries, starting production outside Japan in 1963 in Belgium. It was also this year that HONDA entered the automotive segment with the launch of the sports car S500 (Japan’s first sports car) and the T360 light truck. Shortly thereafter, in 1966, it was the turn of the small N360 car to debut on the market. Following the ‘produce where there is market’ philosophy, the 1970s were decisive for the expansion towards South and Central America.
Perhaps the most important fact in the history of HONDA was the launch of the Honda Civic in 1972, a car that has become one of the best sellers in the history of the automobile industry. Another important fact that occurred in this decade was the pioneering manufacture of the CVCC (Combustion Controlled Vortex Composite) car engine, which reduced the emission of polluting gases at very low rates. The initiative anticipated the rigid requirements of the Clean Air Act in 1975. The 1980s marked the company’s expansion to promising hubs such as India, China and Indonesia, as well as the launch of another major success by HONDA ACCORD. In the last two decades, the technological research that has resulted in the development of the quadricycle, the world’s first airbag motorcycle, hybrid cars, the Honda Jet executive jet, the versatile Asimo humanoid robot and even an equipment that helps the displacement of the elderly – the experimental walking aid. Coinciding with its 60th birthday in 2008, HONDA has announced it has produced its 200 millionth motorcycle.