Founded in 1919 by French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën (1878–1935), Citroën was the first mass-production car company outside the USA and pioneered the modern concept of creating a sales and services network that complements the motor car. Within eight years Citroën had become Europe's largest car manufacturer and the 4th largest in the world.
André-Gustave Citroën introduced the first industrial mass production of vehicles outside the United States, a technique he developed while mass-producing armaments for the French military in World War I. In 1924, Citroën produced Europe’s first all-steel-bodied car, the B10. In 1934, Citroën secured its reputation for innovation with the Traction Avant, not only the world's first mass-produced front-wheel drive car, but also one of the first cars to feature a unitary-type body, with no chassis frame holding the mechanical components.
In 1954 Citroën produced the world's first hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system, then in 1955 the revolutionary DS, the first mass production car with modern disc brakes. In 1967, Citroën introduced swiveling headlights in several models, allowing for greater visibility on winding roads. Citroën cars have received various international and national-level awards, including three European Car of the Year.
Citroën has a successful history in motorsport, and is the only automobile manufacturer to have won three different official championships from the International Automobile Federation: the World Rally Raid Championship (five times), the World Rally Championship (eight times ), and the World Touring Car Championship.
Citroën has been selling vehicles in China since 1984, and it represents a major market for the brand today, largely via the Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën joint venture. In 2014, when PSA Peugeot Citroën ran into severe financial difficulties, the Dongfeng Motor Corporation took an ownership stake.