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The Competition: 

Ford, Renault, Peugeot and Simca 

The venerable Traction's replacement, the DS of 1955 below left was way ahead of the competition - Renault's Frégate bowed out in 1957 and the top of the range cars sold by Renault dealers were American AMC imports.  Renault's DS contender the R16 below right was not launched until 1965 but used a much smaller engine and was far more compact than the big Citroën.

Throughout the seventies, while Citroën lurched from one financial crisis to another, Renault's range expanded with regular model changes.  Citroën's long delayed mid range model, the GS below right was up against the R12 (still built in the late nineties in Romania as the Dacia) below left.

Launched in 1971, above left the R15 Coupé and above right the R17 Coupé, both styled by Robert Opron who was responsible for the SM, GS and CX and were examples of exploitation of niche markets that Citroën was forced to ignore.  Renault had long exploited the market for sporty coupés and cabriolets such as the Dauphine based Floride below left of the early sixties.


The company that would eventually end up owning Citroën, Peugeot, was, in the immediate post war years obliged, like Citroën, to reintroduce pre war models like the 202 below left.  However, in 1948, the all new 203 was launched below right.

Like Renault and Simca, Peugeot exploited market sectors that Citroën could not.  The 403 left was launched in the same year as the DS and remained in production until 1966.

Peugeot's Grande Routière was the Pininfarina designed 404 left which was launched in 1961 and remained in production until 1969.

Citroën's GS was up against the Peugeot 204 berline above left and break above right and the 304 below left

The 404's replacement, the 504 below left in break configuration and as a berline below right was launched in 1968 and remained in production until the early eighties.

Peugeot's 504 Coupé above right was, with a bit of wishful thinking, a competitor for the Citroën SM above left while the 104 bottom left competed with the Ami Super and GS.  The 104 Coupé bottom right was the basis of the Citroën LN .

Left the 604 was Peugeot's answer to the CX

© 1999 Julian Marsh