Citroen car logo history
You might imagine that the forward-pointing chevron pattern symbolises Citroen's forward-looking, advanced approach to engineering.
But no: Andre Citroen started in the motor trade by building gear wheels, and the twin chevrons are meant to represent gear teeth.
75 years ago the interesting and colourful history of Citroën automobiles began.
In 1934, Citroën presented their first front-wheel drive cars and started a revolution in auto production.
André Citroën was born in 1878.
A successful student, he attended the Polytechnical school in Paris and worked for some time with the car company "Mors". In 1905, at the age of 27, he founded his first company, "André Citroën & Cie", which was changed to "Société des Engrenages Citroën" (Citroën Cog Factory ) in 1913.
Also in 1913, Citroën founded yet another company to take advantage of a patent he had regarding carburettors. This company was located on the Quai de Javel (today Quai André Citroën) in Paris.
Early in his career, Citroën was impressed by the production methods of Henry Ford, who pioneered the use of the assembly line as early as 1908 for the Ford Model T in the U.S.A.
Citroën understood that he had to analyse production methods and that he had to divide it into single logical steps in order to calculate the industrial production of an item mathematically.
Citroën cogs With the outbreak of World War I, André Citroën received a commission, beginning in 1915, to produce 7,500 75mm grenades - good work for a small company.
Citroën was able to convince the French Ministry of Defence that he could deliver much bigger quantities with industrial production.
The company grew rapidly and in 1918 it occupied 80,000 square metres at the Quai de Javel in Paris where, in 1914, there were still garden allotments.
12,000 people were occupied producing grenades.
At the peak the output reached 20,000 pieces!
The company was very progressive in the social field: a cantine and a kindergarden were present as was a dental clinic.
During the war, Citroën started thinking about the "days after".
He talked about building 1,000 automobiles a day at a price that would enable everyone to own one of his cars.