Citroën Type A
The first Citroën in production, the Type A was ready on September 20, 1918. It was nevertheless necessary to wait for the armistice so that André Citroën could approve the Type A, which was done on November 20, 1918.
But, even if the Type A is approved and ready, André Citroën cannot start mass production, for lack of factories. Indeed, André Citroën had to create the Citroën automobile company and, above all, convert the weapons factory into an automobile factory, the famous Quai de Javel factory.
It was therefore only in January 1919 that André Citroën presented the Type A to the press and made a sensational announcement ... The Type A will be sold from 7,250 Francs: it is two times less than the less. expensive automobiles sold on the market! The genius of André Citroën and of the automobile brand was born. After an extensive communication campaign, more than 16,000 orders reach the factory in just two weeks.
Production is launched
It was not until May 1919 that Citroën could start production of the Type A. Slow production at the start: only four copies were produced in May. On June 4, in a store located at 34, avenue des Champs Elysées, the Citroën Type A is officially presented and offered at a price of 7,950 francs. From June 7, deliveries begin. The first Citroën Type A share for an inhabitant of Beaulieu sur Dordogne who takes possession of a gray torpedo version. From four copies in May, production goes up to 11 in June then 130 in July.
Over the whole of 2019, the Quai de Javel plant produced 2,810 cars with, at the end of the year, 30 cars produced per day. Despite a successful launch, sales are not as high as expected and André Citroën must review the price of the Type A upwards. Thus, in 1920, the Citroën Type A saw its price soar by 57% to bring it to 12,500 Francs but, even at this price, the Type A remained the cheapest car on the market.
Two chassis ... eight bodies: the challenge of standardization
The Citroën Type A is the first European car produced in large series. It was delivered ready to drive, which was not the case with all cars of the time. To lower the cost of the model and therefore the selling price, André Citroën had to limit the number of variants on pain of seeing the costs explode.
In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
Despite this, the Citroën Type A was offered in two chassis variants:
a short wheelbase of 2.55m
a long wheelbase of 2.83m
On these two chassis, Citroën offered eight different types of bodywork:
Three or four seater torpedo
Three- or four-seater sedan
But this diversity of chassis and bodywork has a direct impact on production rates and therefore on the finances of the Brand in addition to being contrary to the idea of Fordism. This is why, from the beginning of 1920, Citroën abandoned the short chassis to keep only one chassis with a 2.83m wheelbase. Citroën took the opportunity to add a new body, the Torpédo sport. Over the whole of 1920, Citroën produced up to 100 cars per day, ie the leading mass manufacturer in Europe, and nearly 20,000 Citroën Type As were sold in this year alone.
When Type A turns into a Taxi
In 1921, the last type A chassis produced were transformed into a city coupe. André Citroën, a formidable visionary, used them to create the Compagnie des Taxis Citroën which would run in Paris and other major cities in France. This publicity stunt will show the general public the comfort and reliability of the brand's cars and thus help launch the brand on the path to success.
In June 1921, after only two years of existence, the Citroën Type A disappeared with a total of 24,093 units produced.
Technical characteristics :
Weight: 810 Kilos
Engine: 4 cylinders in line
Cubic capacity: 1327 Cm³
Power: 18 horsepower
Max speed: 65 km / h
Consumption: 7.5 liters per 100 km
Transmission: three-speed manual
Length: 4 meters
Number of seats: 4