Citroën has spent many months preparing for its centenary, with planned activities based on a simple question: how would its founder, André Citroën, have celebrated his brand’s 100 years himself?
Certainly, they decided, he wouldn’t be doing things like everyone else – so the French marque has created a ‘bold activations package’ combining international events and activities that will take place throughout the year, kicking off with Retromobile 2019 which will run from February 6 to 10 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.
At this show there will be a special centenary stand accommodating 30 iconic models around three hubs: 10 production vehicles, 10 concept cars and 10 rally vehicles.
In April, again in Paris, Citroën ‘Origins’ Rent&Smile, the short-term rental service launched in Europe at the end of 2016, will be getting in tune with the centenary: in addition to the models from the current range, historic Citroëns will also be on offer to rent during April.
The vehicle will be selected and reserved online via the website (https://fr-rentandsmile.citroen.com), just as easily as for a current model. “It’s a unique opportunity for everyone to experience driving a classic Citroën,” says the French carmaker.
Then in May, ‘From One Generation to Another’ will be showcasing families, businesses or dealerships from across the world that have been loyal to the company for generations, illustrating their unique relationship with the brand through original digital films on social media channels.
‘Street Burst Day’ will take place in mid-June, at a secret location: the initiative will be a world first as the company cordons off a street during the night to park 100 Citroëns there, representing 100 years of the brand. Models from collectors and Citroën’s Conservatoire will be displayed, along with concept cars, “guaranteeing a surprise for passers-by, who will be able to enjoy this exceptional open exhibition”.
For those who are unable to attend in person, the event will be relayed on social media channels.
Again on social media channels, from July, will be ‘Citroën Stories’. A journalist will set off on an international road trip to meet those who are ‘Citroënistes’ at heart and owners of iconic models.
It will give them the chance to share their own history and to tell the story of their Citroën. Each of the seven countries visited will provide the opportunity for a video interview to be relayed on social media channels.
‘Le Rassemblement du Siècle’ (19 – 21 July in la Ferté-Vidame – Eure-et-Loir) is a gathering of collectors who will take over the historic secret test drive site where the 2CV was developed. Over 11,000 collectors will come together, almost 5,000 cars will be on display and up to 50,000 people are expected over the three days.
This 100th anniversary will also be Citroën’s opportunity to show its future vision by unveiling two brand new concepts, the first being unveiled in February and on display for its World Premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March, will demonstrate Citroën’s vision in terms of urban mobility.
The second concept is due to be unveiled in Paris in May, and embodies Citroën’s take on ‘ultra-comfort’.
New Citroën products and toys have also been designed for the anniversary, following on from André Citroën’s innovative launch of Citroën toys in the 1920s. For its centenary, Citroën is inaugurating a new range of products which play on the graphics of the 1920s: enamelled mugs and card and memory games. Miniatures of old models will also be launched, as well as various collectors’ kits.
The centenary will also be the chance for Citroën to give free rein to famous international photographers to magnify the brand in 100 new photos. Taken in global capitals (Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, New York, Buenos Aires, Tunis, Tokyo), these original art photographs will “illustrate Citroën’s aura across the world, by making the link between past, present and future”.
Relayed on Instagram and Facebook, the 100 photos will also be the subject of a free exhibition at la Monnaie de Paris (the Paris Mint, in the sixth district) in July and August.