23 February 2015

Citroën Car Production By Model : 1970-79

Things went pear shaped for Citroën in the 1970's. The SM model, a touring car with a Maserati V6 engine sold in limited numbers and was soon gone. The small GS model was successful, and the CX ably replaced the DS. However the 1973 energy crisis hit its joint venture Wankel engine operation with NSU. The middle range above the GS was profitable and yet Citroen wasn't even there. Heavy spending on development wasn't getting the returns required.

In 1974, Citroën went bankrupt and was taken over by rival Peugeot. Maserati was sold off and a truck manufacturer it bought in 1967 was sold to Renault. The LN/A model was released (based on the Peugeot 104) and the Visa replaced the Ami. production went from 425,000 in 1969 to over 730,000 in 1979. 130,000 units were added from 1974 to '79. Things were quickly turning around.

Below is production by model and then a brief summary of each car released in the period.


GS Visa CX 2 CV Dyanne LN Méhari Ami DS SM





LNA
8

70 12,620 - - 121,096 96,546 - 11,246 124,962 103,633 868
71 158,675 - - 121,265 97,091 - 10,175 105,018 84,585 4,988
72 195,138 - - 133,530 111,462 - 11,742 96,716 92,226 4,036
73 223,067 - - 123,819 95,535 - 12,567 107,339 96,995 2,619
74 170,829 - 11,759 163,143 126,854 - 13,910 74,556 40,039 294
75 218,005 - 96,778 122,542 117,913 - 8,920 63,695 847 115
76 231,927 - 112,339 134,396 118,871 5,215 9,569 49,846 - -
77 248,118 - 112,718 132,458 113,474 65,100 9,645 34,700 - -
78 259,787 31,000 132,675 108,825 102,958 67,200 8,467 17,400 - -
79 225,732 155,300 123,391 101,222 77,605 38,600 8,995 1,400 - -

Data source: Freyssenet.com
Visa picture: classiccarcatalogue.com

Cafe patrons nearly sent scattering by wayward GS driver

GS: As European Cart of the Year in 1971, it was class leading in its day. Yet the production numbers didn't reflect that and for all the money spent on it sales were not high enough.

CX: A large luxury car that was voted European Car of the Year in 1975. It had excellent aerodynamics and the last true Citroën in style, being technically advanced as bigger Citroëns were.

LN/LNA: A new super mini with a Peugeot 104 body showed how Citroën was going to be handled by Peugeot. A more frugal way of operating was needed but this would mean Citroën cars would become similar to Peugeots. The LN was just for France but the more powerful LNA exported too. It did the job but not a big seller.

Visa owners turn up for car parking course. Some work needed then

Visa: This was a better attempt than the LN and was reasonably popular. It had that idiosyncratic 'Frenchness' about it which was more Citroën than Peugeot.

Summary: In the 1970's business reality arrived at Citroën and costs would be managed better. While Peugeot promised to keep the character of each brand separate, it made more economic sense for Citroën to become more Peugeot and that is what started to happen.

Other years: 1945-59, 1960-69, 1980-89, 1990-99, 2000-09.

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