French Cars

Oldtimer Citroen C2v

From the UK Desk

Why haven’t French cars conquered the US and Canada? Well, it’s complicated.

Despite the Citroen’s long history-it began in 1901-it has yet to challenge the USA or Canada. They’re onto a winning formula, because there are many similar cars such as Renault or Peugot.

There is a wide range of Citroen cars, from city cars and family vehicles to subcompacts and MPVs. The 2CV was the first subcompact. It is able to transport up to 5 people. As with every small car it is about being economical.


If you can get hold of a Citroen, there is a host of classic features. The C1 is about being advanced and stylish. The petrol is 3 cylinders and the diesel is 4 cylinders. They have a host of features such as a reverse camera to eliminate blind spots. There is also a “Mirror Screen,” a touchscreen which enables you to see more. The Hill Start Assist allows the car to be held in place on a slope.

There’s a keyless entry which you may have encountered before: the car can be opened remotely even if you keep your key in a pocket. A built-in camera may be used to send videos and photos. So, for technical features alone it has an edge on many competitors?

Could you buy an exported model? Maybe, but it wouldn’t pass the US or Canada’s safety tests (US tend to drive invested and its test must allow for this. But many foreign cars do not pass muster. However, Citroen has still been successful in South America or China.

It does work in the other way round. Subcompacts work well in the US but it is not economical to ship such designs from Europe.

It’s interesting to see that cars such as the SUV are much more suited for the US market, rather than the smaller car. Though something like the Citroen DS historically could have done well in the US but it seems its time has gone.

The Peugot meanwhile started as various coffee mills and bike factories as long ago as 1810. In 1889 they created a steam driven car until finally moving onto a car powered by internal combustion. As well as domestic cars they became known for racing cars.

Renault has also moved into motosports. They were founded by two brothers and by 1907 most of the London and Paris taxis were built by Renalt. Also, in this year they became a US brand. They also moved into agricultural vehicles and tanks. Of course, lately they are moving into electric cars, it’s the trend. The Morphoz can be transformed from a short city car to a wider country car with both a wider exterior and interior. The Artificial Intelligence used in the guidance system is another selling point.

The US and Canada market tends towards American cars, which may be partly because many US cars are built in Canadian plants. (The runner up type of cars being sold are the Japanese and German.) But then again, the best manufacturers always find a way, even if the French manufacturers have been at it for a very long time.

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