History of Citroën: 1980
A mechanical assembly plant comes into operation at Meudon, near Paris, for the manufacture of machine tools, tools and prototype components.
The first Quality Circles are formed at the Rennes-La Janais factory: each consists of five to ten volunteers working in the same service or area. The idea is to continually apply quality control techniques to solve problems as and when they arise.
The SMAN (Société Mécanique Automobile du Nord) plant begins operations at Valenciennes in northern France. Another subsidiary of Automobiles Peugeot and Automobiles Citroën, it supplies the three companies of the group with gearboxes for their mid-range vehicles.
The Acadiane replaces the 2CV Van in the STIA assembly plant in Tunisia, which is assembling 600 vehicles a year.
History of Citroën: 1981
Citroën introduces a corporate publicity campaign using "the little gentleman and the chevrons" drawn by Savignac.
In association with Total, Citroën sets up the "Visa for Competition" Trophy, a promotional formula designed to demonstrate the qualities of the Visa. The two winners are nominated works drivers for the 1982 season.
History of Citroën: 1982
After 68 years, Citroën leaves the Quai de Javel (renamed Quai André Citroën in 1958) and transfers its head office to Neuilly-sur-Seine, just outside Paris.
Citroën Industrie enters an agreement with Automatique Industrielle, a joint subsidiary of PSA, SG2, PUK and Rhone-Poulenc, to cooperate in the planning, design and sale of flexible automatic manufacturing systems for French and international markets.
Strikes break out in several plants in the Paris area, preventing production for several weeks.
Citroën sells 150 CXs to the Dong Fang Hotel in Canton. With this first contract in a series of three, Citroën enters the Chinese market.
In cooperation with Total and Michelin, Citroën launches the Visa International Trophy for 200 Visas homologated in Group B.
History of Citroën: 1983
A flexible manufacturing workshop begins operation inside the Meudon factory, using automation and advanced technology. Completely controlled by computer, it machines and checks prototype parts in small and medium series. The workshop operates round the clock and requires no manual assistance.
The Mulhouse factory closes down. The old-fashioned layout of its workshops and its position in an urban area prevent it from adapting to modern requirements. The production of transmission joints is transferred to the Citroën factory at Caen and the Peugeot factory at La Rochelle.
In accordance with the 1978 contract, a Citroën-designed factory at Zwickau-Mosel in East Germany comes into operation to manufacture constant-velocity joints. Of its production capacity of 800,000 joints a year, a third is to be used by Citroën.
A new computerized production management system is adopted to manage customer orders, the aim being to cut vehicle delivery times.
History of Citroën: 1984
In Romania, the Oltcit factory in Craiova comes on line, in accordance with the Franco-Romanian agreement of 1976. This modern industrial complex has a production capacity of 130,000 vehicles a year.
In April, the machining and assembly of GSA engines is transferred from Nanterre to the more modern workshops of the Vigo and Orense factories in Spain. Nanterre's pressure die-casting operation is also transferred to the provinces.
In collaboration with Total and Michelin, Citroën runs the "Trophée Féminin": 6,000 entrants take a selection test and 11 are chosen to run in six events. Sylvie Seignobeaux and Christine Driano become "works drivers" for the 1985 season.
At the Clichy factory, production-scale experiments are carried out using the "lost foam" casting process. More than 200 Quality Circles are in operation at the different Citroën plants.
History of Citroën: 1985
March sees the introduction of a new corporate image programme for the dealer network. The colour scheme of blue and yellow is replaced by red and white.
In July, Citroën takes part in the first Chinese motor show in Shanghai and signs a contract for the delivery of 250 CXs.
In December, the Clichy and Nanterre factories in the Paris area close: foundry operations are transferred to the Charleville factory, and mechanical operations to Trémery and Asnières.
History of Citroën: 1986
After six years of financial losses, Citroën moves back into the black. The carmaker achieves a major European breakthrough with a 10.8% increase in registrations outside France, while the overall market grows by 9%. Britain heads the sales league, with a 30.4% increase.
Citroën introduces the Plan Mercure quality control programme into each of its production facilities in an effort to achieve the triple objective of "zero defects, zero breakdowns and zero stocks". Plan Mercure is based on the principle of total customer satisfaction at all levels, and achieves that target by restructuring the system of production.
The final assembly plant at Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris, is modernized for the launch of the AX and is transformed into a fully-fledged pilot plant. Computerized production monitoring, automated assembly and flexible organization contribute to a 30% cut in production schedules. At the gearbox production plant at Metz-Borny, in the Moselle region, the launch of the AX is preceded by the introduction of the very latest and most advanced technologies.
For the launch of the "revolutionary" AX, the advertising agency RSCG recommends a single publicity strategy for all countries - and the car becomes instantly identified in the public mind with China and the Great Wall.
History of Citroën: 1987
End-of-year figures show a tripling of 1986 profits.
In March, the design department acquires a Cray XMP/14 supercomputer.
During the year, at least one-half of the workforce benefits from THE COMPANY's training and education programme, which accounts for 3.5% of the total payroll. The marque introduces a 5-year anti-corrosion warranty.
At the Trémery plant in Lorraine, Citroën opens an assembly shop for the production of the XU2 petrol engine, thereby increasing flexibility in the plant by 70%. The shop is designed to assemble seventy different types of engine, and especially the 16-valve unit that equips the BX GTI.
In conjunction with Total and Michelin, Citroën organizes the AX Sport Challenge Rally. The event is open to all comers, including company staffers. Out of the 18,500 entrants, three prizewinners are officially engaged to race the AX Sport in 5 events counting for the 1988 World Rally Championship.
History of Citroën: 1988
Automobiles Citroën boosts profits by 78.24% over 1987 levels. The PSA Group's profits reach 8.8 billion francs.
In July, 140 young people leave for China to drive 4,500 km from Shenzhen to Beijing in AXs on a major Citroën expedition known as Operation Dragon.
A good year for Citroën Competition: the Group A AX Sport plays the leading role in the under-1,300 cm 3 category. With Carole Vergnaud, Jean-Pierre Jarier and Jean-Pierre Beltoise, the AX Sport Turbo beats all comers in seven out of ten French Superproduction Championship events.
Citroën exports rise by 12% in a market that posts overall growth of just 4%. Significant gains are made in Portugal (78%), Spain (48%) and Britain (45%).
History of Citroën: 1989
Citroën inaugurates state-of-the-art production facilities for the launch of the XM saloon and introduces a company-wide training programme. The significance of the XM is reflected in the size of the investments: FF7.5 billion, including FF1.2 billion in R&D costs. The XM final assembly plant at Rennes-La Janais is totally refurbished. A new facility is opened for offline assembly operations that improve reliability and productivity. The bodywork assembly shop is fully automated and "clean rooms" are introduced into the paint shop to eliminate dust and ensure total quality of primers, paint and varnish.
The exhibition XM'Art offers a selection of contemporary art works based on the theme of the motor car in general and the XM in particular. Opened in Paris in May, the show will travel throughout Europe.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show Citroën turns the spotlight on the XM, which is displayed on an avant-garde stand with a centre-piece representing movement into the future.
A joint Citroën-Mazda distribution network is launched in Japan. Known as Eunos, the network will distribute top-range Mazda and Citroën vehicles, adapted to meet Japanese standards before leaving France.
Guy Fréquelin is appointed to head Citroën Sport, formerly Citroën Compétitions. Christine Driano wins the 1989 French rally championship at the wheel of a Group A AX for the second year running. Maurice Chomat takes the French off-road rally championship.