Country of manufacture: France
The history of the Citroen automobile brand begins with its emblem - the "double angle bracket", which appeared due to the early work of Citroen on the "Christmas tree" or chevron gear. However, there are other theories.
Andre Citroen was a Jew as well as a freemason who joined the Lodge of La Philosophie Positive in Paris. The emblem can be interpreted as a Masonic symbol - a double Masonic square or a double Masonic compass, closely connected with the Masonic ideology of Citroen.
In Freemasonry, the compass is associated with the symbol of “architectural tools”, therefore, it is possible that Citroen used a double compass to portray its invention in Masonic form.
The Danish name Citroen was originally meant lemon, due to the fact that his grandfather was a merchant of citrus fruits in a market in Amsterdam. The old-fashioned nickname for Citroen cars is "Citron" (French lemon). It sounds rather strange in English, because on slang “lemon” means an unreliable and problematic car
Citroen was an astute trader - he used the Eiffel Tower as the largest advertising sign registered in the Guinness Book of Records.
He also sponsored expeditions to Asia (Croisiere Jaune) and Africa (Croisiere Noire), intending to demonstrate the potential of vehicles equipped with the Kegresse transport system. The expedition was attended by scientists and journalists, so it was a public success.
In 1924 Citroen started a business relationship with American engineer Edward G. Budd. Since 1899, Budd has been working on the development of stainless bodies for railway wagons, especially Pullman. Budd also manufactured steel bodies for many other automakers. Dodge was his first customer. In 1928 Citroen introduced the first steel body in Europe.
In the beginning, his cars with new bodies were successful, but soon the competitors who used the wooden structure for the body introduced a new body design. Citroen did not re-register the bodies of its cars and they began to be perceived as out of fashion. Citroen cars due to low prices, despite design flaws were still sold in large numbers, but Citroen experienced significant losses.
This led Citroen to develop the Traction Avant brand, a machine so technologically advanced that there was not even a thought of competition.
The Traction Avant model had three fundamentally new features: a monolithic body, independent front wheel suspension and front-wheel drive. In 1934, Citroen commissioned the Budd chief engineer to create a prototype with 32 horsepower.
In the Traction Avant model, the main elements of mechanical design were installed, which Mini followed for 30 years and almost every manufacturer today.
In 1933, Citroen also introduced the Rosalie brand, a passenger car with the world's first commercially available diesel engine, developed with Harry Ricardo.
The rapid development of the Traction Avant brand was too expensive and ambitious, which caused the financial collapse of the company. In 1934 debts led the company to foreclosure of the mortgaged property and it was taken by the largest lender Michelin. Fortunately for Michelin, the Traction Avant brand was accepted on the market and continued to production.
Citroen has always been under-capitalized, so its cars had a tradition of production problems, limited distribution and an insufficient service network. For such important brands as DS and CX, the development of the original engine was too expensive financially, so they used an outdated engine with average performance.