The model was created by André Citroën 100 years ago. The 5CV was also the first mass-produced car in Europe
100 years ago, at the 1922 Paris Motor Show, Citroën launched the 5CV to the world. The model was the first car designed for women and was designed by André Citroën, the founder of the brand that bears his name.
At the time, cars did not have hydraulic steering assistance or brake servos. They were also heavy and the engines required the driver to manually adjust several points, such as the fuel mixture and even the pressure in the fuel tank. As a result, at that time, professional drivers were all men.
André Citroën always thought of going further and while other brands created expensive and exclusive cars for men, he created a car for another audience: more accessible and more suitable for young people and women who until then had never had the possibility to own a car. ..
Also innovative in terms of communication, the CITROËN 5CV advertising campaign gave women a big spotlight, even more than the car itself. His goal was for them to feel comfortable driving and to be encouraged to lead by example.
The Citroen 5CV was the first popular mass-produced car in Europe and was presented in bright and cheerful colours. Almost all the first units were painted yellow with their bodies painted black. This yellow color, its size and the shape of the model’s back made it soon known as “Petit Citron” (“Little Lemon” in Portuguese, also playing with the name of the brand).
It was a very light car with a 4 cylinder engine. It was very easy to maintain, its lightness and thin tires made it easy to drive and it was not difficult to use the brakes without having athlete’s legs. Soon, Citroen 5Cv became a success among the female public and a small social revolution at that time.