Presented by:  Brad Nauss, Brad Nauss Automotive, Mechanicsburg, PA.

 

I worked as a Citroën mechanic from 1970 until 1993.  I have owned and operated Brad Nauss Automotive, selling Citroën parts from 1994 until present.   That is a total of 47 years of experience with Citroën.

How many of you own a Citroën currently?   How many of you owned a Citroën 10 years ago?  How many of you owned a Citroën 20 years ago?   How many of you owned a Citroën 30 years ago?  (Brad 34 years!)  How many of you owned a Citroën 40 years ago?   How many of you owned or worked on a Citroën 42 years ago?

Well… since only (one) of you owned or worked on Citroëns in 1975 and that is the Citroën Factory price list that I am using… I guess I could get away with telling you anything I want to!  That certainly takes the pressure off!

First, let’s review the parts quiz that hopefully you had a chance to take this morning.  (You can take the quiz below – scroll toward the bottom.)   

Now that we have an idea of the changes that have taken place with prices, I would be amiss to not discuss Citroën parts availability.

Citroën was required by federal law to provide parts and support for vehicles for 7 years after the end of sales of that model.  That means that Citroën could have completely pulled out of this market after about 1980. Probably because their parent company Peugeot was still in this market, Citroën parts continued to be at least marginally available from Citroën until at least the mid 1980’s.  I have a Citroën factory USA parts price list from 1986.  As I was not involved in the parts end of the business in the mid 80’s, I cannot tell you what percentage of parts were purchased from Citroën/Peugeot.  At this time, there were a few retail/wholesale Citroën parts suppliers in the USA who became a more cost effective supplier for Citroën parts.  After Peugeot stopped selling cars here in 1991, Peugeot downsized considerably.

Sometime before I left Dellinger Auto Sales at the end of 1993, Citroën officially closed their warehouse in New Jersey.  Word is that one of the Citroën service reps, who was still employed in the warehouse, was ordered to “empty the warehouse”.  Red Dellinger traveled to New Jersey, and rented a large box van (I think maybe a 28’ truck or larger).  Having made some unknown deal, Red brought most if not all of the remaining inventory back to Lewisberry, PA.  Some of the parts from the warehouse also ended up in private hands.  I have been able to purchase some of those as recently as in the past two years.  This was basically the end of Citroën parts inventory in the USA.

Peugeot eventually used Caterpillar Logistics in the Allentown, PA area as their parts warehouse and shipping agent.  So, Peugeot parts came from Allentown.  Word was that you MIGHT get some LHM from them if you asked nice, but no other Citroën parts to my knowledge.

I am not sure, but I think that SM World in CA may have been the last “officially recognized” Citroën service point in the USA.  I don’t know at what point they were unable to order Citroën parts directly from Citroën.

After I opened Brad Nauss Automotive, I would occasionally get a call from somebody who had called Peugeot/Citroën in New York, and they were referred to me as a supplier of parts.   That also was the case a few times when owners would call the French consulate looking for a way to get parts.  That proves to me that shortly after 1994, Citroën was definitely not a viable source for any parts here in the USA.

April 1994 was a big year.  Brad Nauss Automotive began to sell parts, after I purchased all of the new parts inventory from Dellinger Auto Sales.  

Around 1994, the largest wholesale supplier in the USA was on the west coast.  Many of the parts for the cars could be sourced from this wholesaler.  He was not buying all of the parts from Citroën, but was also buying directly from many of the OEM manufacturers.  He was also buying in much larger quantities than anyone else in the USA, making the wholesale price quite good.

Some D parts and almost all TAV parts were being purchased from several European suppliers, mostly in France.

1998 was a big year for changes.  After a trip to the ICCCR in Belgium and meeting several major parts suppliers who were there, Brad Nauss Automotive began to buy more and more D parts directly from suppliers in Europe.  It was not common to receive much (if any at all) discount from parts suppliers in Europe.  None of the suppliers were set up to do wholesale, or to ship to the USA.  International shipping was in its infancy.  Shipping was expensive, customs clearance was hit or miss, and it was difficult to supply all the parts which could have been needed.  Orders were placed by FAX and payment methods were limited.  Payment methods were sketchy…many with very expensive surcharges.

Fast forward to today…   I now purchase parts from multiple European suppliers almost exclusively.  Some have wholesale divisions, and recognize that a retailer must be able to have a profit margin.  Others who are not set up for wholesale, at least give some profit margin vs retail prices.   It is still imperative to know who are reputable suppliers who sell quality parts.

Another of the biggest changes.  Some of my suppliers have a way for me to access their parts database, I can tell if they have a part in stock, before I contact them to order.   Almost all orders are placed over a website.   Payment methods are more user friendly, and expensive surcharges for payment methods can be avoided.  It is very, very necessary to cultivate and nurture a working relationship with companies and their representatives.  In spite of being able to do business exclusively electronically, the occasional phone call to the suppliers assures a good relationship.

Last point; International shipping has made changes leaps and bounds.  To the point that from several suppliers, I can get my “stock orders” here from Europe in 2 business days, and still be competitive and reasonable with retail prices.

Customs brokerage and duty can still have its ups and downs, but by dealing with the same shipping company on a regular basis and knowing how to limit your exposure to duty and brokerage fees, costs can be kept to a minimum.

 


 

Citroëns at Carlisle 2017  –  PARTS QUIZ

** This quiz is copy write and only for use of Citroënvie members.  Reproduction or publishing elsewhere is only permitted with the written permission of Brad Nauss.  Contact Brad at: citparts@aol.com **

Note: all current prices referred to are Brad Nauss Automotive current prices.   Citroën Cars Corporation price sheet from February 1, 1975 used for 1975 Citroën prices;

1. Warranty on parts from Citroën stated as:

a) 30 days

b) 90 days

c) 6 months

d) 1 year

 

2) Warranty begins on:

a) Date part is installed on vehicle

b) Date part is invoiced from dealer to customer

c) Date part is invoiced from Citroën to dealer

 

3) How many parts distribution depots did Citroën have in North America in 1975?    

1       2       3       4       5

 

4) LHM fluid (1 liter) – 1975 price:

$1.95     $3.75     $4.20   $5.37

 

5) LHM fluid (1 liter) – current price:

$12.50   $13.50   $16.50   $18.75

 

6) DS21 rubber hose from Weber carb to air filter – 1975 price:

$6.44   $15.73   $27.50   $35.17       

 

7) DS21 rubber hose from Weber carb to air filter – current price:

$15.73     $57.74   $115.77   $97.49

 

8) A DS21 oil filter now costs approximately how many times as much as it did in 1975? 

2   3   4     5

 

9) A DS21 piston liner set now costs approximately how many times as much as it did in 1975?    

2.5   3     3.5     4

 

10) A DS21 fuel pump now costs approximately how many times as much as it did in 1975? 

1.5   2   2.5   3   3.5

 

11) A DS21 clutch pressure plate (rebuilt) now costs approximately how many times as much as it did for a new one in 1975?   

2     3     4     5     6

 

12) Citroën list price on a 5 gallon container of LHM in 1975 was:

$62   $72   $82   $92   $102

 

13 A pair of DS spheres for LHM sedan retails currently for:

$159   $169   $179   $186   $196   $206

 

14) A pair of DS spheres for LHM sedan in 1975 were:

$96   $116   $130   $140   $150

 

15) A DS21 exhaust system (flex pipe, muffler, pipes, resonator) listed for approximately how much in 1975?

$155     $175   $185   $200

 

16) A DS21 exhaust system (flex pipe, muffler, pipes, resonator) retails currently for approximately how many times as much as 1975?

2   2.5   3   3.5   4   4.5   5

 

17) An upper radiator hose for a DS21 currently lists for $111.07.  Approximately how much did it retail for in 1975?

$5     $9   $15   $20     $27     $30

 

18) A rebuilt “short block” was available for an SM in 1975.  What did it cost?  

$2,250   $2,800   $3,250   $3,750

 

19) In 1975 you could buy a tinted windshield for an SM for:    

$75   $109 $140 $165   $210 $245   $275   $300

 

20) In 1975 you could buy a tinted windshield for a DS for:

$75   $109 $140 $165   $210 $245   $275   $300

 

21) In 1975 you could order a new gearbox ring and pinion for a 5-speed SM for:  

$150   $165   $200   $250   $275   $300   $350

 

22) In 1975 you could order a new gearbox ring and pinion for a late DS21 for: 

$150   $165   $200   $250   $275   $300   $350

 

23) In 1975 a Michelin tire for your 73 SM (205/70R15XWX) would cost you how much more than a tire for your 69 DS21 (180R15XAS)?  

$20   $30   $40   $50   $60   $70   $80   $90   $100

 

24) In 1975 you could buy 4 new doors for your 1972 DS21 for approximately:

$425   $475   $525   $575   $625 $675   $725   $775   $825

 

25) In 1975 you could buy a rebuilt SM 5-speed gearbox for:

$750   $850   $950   $1,050   $1,150   $1,250

 

Bonus Question….  –   There is a part that is very close to the same price today as it was in 1975 (15% difference).  It is:

a) DS21 clutch release bearing

b) SM top radiator hose

c) DS & SM front brake disc

d) SM clutch disc

 

ANSWERS:

1. Warranty on parts from Citroën stated as:

a) 30 days
 

2) Warranty begins on:

c) Date part is invoiced from Citroën to dealer

 

3) How many parts distribution depots did Citroën have in North America in 1975?    

3

 

4) LHM fluid (1 liter) – 1975 price:

$4.20 

 

5) LHM fluid (1 liter) – current price:

$16.50

 

6) DS21 rubber hose from Weber carb to air filter – 1975 price:

$6.44 

 

7) DS21 rubber hose from Weber carb to air filter – current price:

$97.49

 

8) A DS21 oil filter now costs approximately how many times as much as it did in 1975? 

 

9) A DS21 piston liner set now costs approximately how many times as much as it did in 1975?    

2.5

 

10) A DS21 fuel pump now costs approximately how many times as much as it did in 1975? 

 

11) A DS21 clutch pressure plate (rebuilt) now costs approximately how many times as much as it did for a new one in 1975?   

5

 

12) Citroën list price on a 5 gallon container of LHM in 1975 was:

$72

 

13 A pair of DS spheres for LHM sedan retails currently for:

$186 

 

14) A pair of DS spheres for LHM sedan in 1975 were:

$130

 

15) A DS21 exhaust system (flex pipe, muffler, pipes, resonator) listed for approximately how much in 1975?

$155 

 

16) A DS21 exhaust system (flex pipe, muffler, pipes, resonator) retails currently for approximately how many times as much as 1975?

3.5

 

17) An upper radiator hose for a DS21 currently lists for $111.07.  Approximately how much did it retail for in 1975?

$9

 

18) A rebuilt “short block” was available for an SM in 1975.  What did it cost?  

$3,750

 

19) In 1975 you could buy a tinted windshield for an SM for:    

$210

 

20) In 1975 you could buy a tinted windshield for a DS for:

$140

 

21) In 1975 you could order a new gearbox ring and pinion for a 5-speed SM for:  

$165

 

22) In 1975 you could order a new gearbox ring and pinion for a late DS21 for: 

$150

 

23) In 1975 a Michelin tire for your 73 SM (205/70R15XWX) would cost you how much more than a tire for your 69 DS21 (180R15XAS)?  

$70

 

24) In 1975 you could buy 4 new doors for your 1972 DS21 for approximately:

$575

 

25) In 1975 you could buy a rebuilt SM 5-speed gearbox for:

$750

 

Bonus Question….  –   There is a part that is very close to the same price today as it was in 1975 (15% difference).  It is:

c) DS & SM front brake disc