Citroen Logo History
The double chevron Citroen logo is one of the oldest and most recognizable emblems in automotive industry. Taking its roots from Andre Citroen’s engineering background, the logo symbolizes double helical gears, facing upwards. Such gears were patented by the French businessman and were notable for low noise level and efficiency. The twin chevron evolved through times but has never left the hood of Citroen cars since 1919, when the company was established.
The initial chevrons before World War II were painted yellow on deep blue font and were embedded into a yellow oval. In 1959 the logo received three-dimensional yellow chevrons, placed on white oval-shaped font. Later on the deep blue ornament was returned to the badge. In 1980s Citroen was looking for a more dynamic image and placed white chevrons on red background. The current 3D emblem, introduced in 2009 to celebrate the company’s 90th anniversary, features smooth silver chevrons that lost their sharp shape.
Citroen is one of the top three French car manufacturers and one of the most creative companies in the industry. Their engineers take credit for multiple innovations that had huge influence on automotive world. It all began in 1919 when a French entrepreneur and engineer Andre Citroen decided to found his own automobile company and produced his first Citroen Type A. Born in Paris to a Jewish family of Dutch and Polish immigrants, Citroen graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in 1900 and embarked on his engineering career.
On his visit to Poland the young entrepreneur acquired the patent for innovative gears and developed them into double helical gears. They later inspired him for creating an emblem for his cars. After the end of World War I Citroen established his own automobile company, named it after himself and soon turned it into one of the leading global car manufacturers. In 1924 the company produced Citroen Type B10, the first all-steel body car in Europe. Andre was very creative in marketing, promoting his vehicles in Champs-Elysees showrooms, using Eiffel Tower as a billboard for nine years, sponsoring expeditions around the world and putting very low price tags on his cars, which attracted thousands of customers.
On top of that there was engineering genius that led to creation of revolutionary Traction Avant model in 1934. This car was well ahead of its time and pioneered mass-production of integral frameless body, front wheel drive and independent suspension system. However, Citroen had to upgrade all manufacturing facilities to launch production, which resulted too expensive. Tire manufacturer Michelin took over the company to save it from bankruptcy in 1935. Shortly after that Andre Citroen died.
After the World War II the company continued its work on innovative and avant-garde vehicles and revealed a car that proved to be a milestone in automobile history, Citroen 2CV. Featuring an economical 2-cylinder engine, canvas sunroof, comfortable suspension and high ground clearance, giving it certain off-road abilities, this cheap minimalist vehicle was designed for French farmers and other people who needed a car but could not afford mid-range and expensive models. 2CV gave freedom of movement to millions of people around the world and was manufactured from 1948 to 1990 without major changes.
Another cult model, featuring numerous innovations that changed automobile industry was DS model, often nicknamed The Goddess, revealed in 1955. The icon of style, designed by Flaminio Bertoni and engineered by André Lefèbvre, it set the standards of riding quality, braking and handling. It was the first car that used hydropneumatic suspension to ensure incredibly comfortable and smooth ride. The suspension was equipped with auto-leveling system and had variable ground clearance. DS offered power steering, semi-automatic transmission and was the first mass-production car with disc brakes. On top of that The Goddess was a pioneer in aerodynamic design and was one of the most beautiful cars ever produced, according to numerous automobile pundits.
In 1960s Citroen was looking for better powertrain options, invested in Wankel engine development and bought the Italian manufacturer Maserati. However, the 1973 oil crisis ruined their plans and put the company on the brink of bankruptcy again. Besides, it was forced off the US market due to North American design regulations. In 1974 Citroen had to merge with another French automaker, Peugeot, to later become part of PSA Peugeot Citroen. Ever since the companies produced related cars with shared powertrains.
Continuing to experience financial difficulties, today Citroen is supported by Chinese giant Dongfeng Motors and follows its way of producing extravagantly looking vehicles like C6 or C4 Cactus. In 2009 the company announced creation of the DS division to produce premium cars, maintaining Citroen’s historic avant-garde spirit.
Citroen racing division takes credit for multiple titles in different Rally competitions, including WRC and Dakar Rally.
This controversial French manufacturer with almost 100-year history left a huge footprint on the industry, introducing multiple innovations to automobile world.
Citroen Logos and Symbols
Official Citroen Website: Citroen.com