The first oil shock – Peugeot saves Citroën

… First of all, a flagship product: the car. This individual mode of transport remains simple, practical and synonymous with escape. The market is not yet saturated, but for reasons of caution, sales volumes are being revised downwards.

Then a wide range, from the 104 to the 604, allowing customers to choose according to their means and the possibility of going downmarket if they are forced to.

A known, or rather, recognised quality, which has helped to sustain sales and, against all expectations, to increase sales abroad. Last but not least, the diesel engine.

In addition to its lower consumption, it is also tax efficient. The governments of Europe are afraid of the transport lobby, so they are all introducing lower-priced diesel in order not to upset them.
The game has to be played well.

It was at this time that Citroën collapsed following a series of bad decisions taken at the worst possible moment. Michelin, owner of the brand with the chevrons, asked Peugeot for assistance.

Competitors, but nevertheless friends, the two firms have been in business for a very long time. But Peugeot hesitated, at the risk of letting the French state intervene and seeing the creation of a Renault-Citroën behemoth.

The latter would crush the lion brand: it had to be committed. On 24 June 1974, Peugeot saved Citroën and became a major national group.

Then it will be Chrysler Europe’s turn, this time with the ambition to give an international dimension to the new PSA Peugeot Citroën group.

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