These photos were taken this past weekend on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris by Citroënvie member Matt Janssen. They are of the “C42 Citroën” building that has been closed since 2012. The 30-metre tall building, which was owned by the brand and then by the PSA group, is located at 42 des Champs Élysées.
It was just 14 years ago that Citroën refurbished their flagship showroom location. (John McCulloch wrote about it in the Fall 2007 issue of Citroënthisiast: https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D1866000_06300102_959272).
However, when it closed in 2012, Groupe PSA promised to pay the rent for a dozen years, until 2024!
There is an excellent article and interview with Manuelle Gautrand, architect of the C42 Citroën about its design and how the building is suffering that you can read here: https://lignesauto.fr/?p=23794
Seems crazy that Citroën left the premises but rent is still being paid by the parent company!
If you visit Paris these days, 1 kilometer away from the Eiffel tower, in a building that has been a Peugeot dealership since 1923, you will find La Maison Citroën.
After Citroën closed its C42 showplace on Paris’ Champs-Élysées, the brand decided to focus on an urban architectural concept of hybrid car dealerships that immerse customers in a distinctive experience that combines well-being and technology.
But why continue to have what has now become a deteriorating brand icon exposed on the Champs-Élysées? It is a sad reflection as to how the Citroën brand has degraded. To have it exposed there with the chevron themed facade visible, and have posters plastered over the front — peeling away…. Oh the horror!
To think that Citroën once was one once on the mind of virtually every Parisian with the Eiffel Tower lit up showing the Citroën name and with a massive showroom presence on the Champs-Élysées in an art deco display of their cars.
Today the brand seems discarded to citizens and tourists alike who stroll along the famous French thoroughfare. One would hope that Stellantis would see the potential to revamp and open C42 once again – if only to showcase the merits of the Ami electric, and ‘greening’ the minds of the many that visit or live in Paris.
Imagine walking in the font door and seeing an original 2CV (maybe even one of the TPV’s). Then show the progression to the new Ami by displaying an Ami 6. As one progresses up the ramped inside, there are displayed a number of new Ami electrics.
Maybe even show the Oli Concept at the very top level.
And of course – have a boutique on the main level to embed the Citroën brand in people’s minds and help cover operational costs.
The lower level could house one of the mobility platforms Citroën touted in October 2021. And those could be changed out on occasion with other ones to offer ongoing visual fascination.
If Stellantis is not willing to open C42 to enhance the brand, then at the very least, pay to have a large corporate banner with the new Citroen logo, or some other brand that the company does want to promote, cover the front of the vacant building.
At the moment it is a branding eyesore that needs to be rectified.