For its centenary, Citroën is preparing to transform La Ferté-Vidame into what will become a Citroën village! Billed as the Citroen Rally of the Century from July 19-21, 2019, for this weekend, the ultra secret Citroën test track and development site close by will open its doors and along with its miles of circuits.
There will be large stages for concerts, gala dinners, and elegance contests. The Citroën museum will show 85 rare vehicles like the mythical Golden Scarab in a special exhibit, and also locate them in the park of the castle, along the ponds and the racecourse.
At an official presentation of the Rally of the Century by the Association Celebration Centenary Citroën (CCC) on September 24, Crespin stated that more than 8,000 collector vehicles from around the world, a 2,500-seat campsite, 450 volunteers, an event of 35 hectares and up to 60,000 visitors could be expected over three days!
The basis of this Rally of the Century is based on André Citroën’s legacy. He was certainly not the pioneer of the automobile, but when he founded the brand Automobiles Citroën in 1919, he brought a real vision not only of this means of transport but also revolutionary marketing methods and service to the user.
It brings notions of design, marketing, customer relations, advertising. For nine years the name Citroën was displayed directly on the Eiffel Tower!
In La Ferté-Vidame, the brand found a site not far from Paris, a huge 900-hectare estate surrounded by walls, known as Le Bureau d’Etudes where, in 1938, the TPV (future 2-CV) program was developed in secret. In 1995, an additional three TPVs were found in a barn on the premises.
Another thing that Xavier Crespin is doing for the event is collecting the best stories from Citroën fans. We received the following request from him:
Dear Marketing Director,
We please request your help for a campaign that is part of our 100th Anniversary celebrations.
The “codename” of this campaign [FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER]
The history of Citroën is defined by the people who lived with its automobiles. Some families have written their own stories, from one generation to the next, with a bit of help from Citroën. By doing so they have written part of the Citroën’s story.
What do we want to do?
For our 100th Birthday we want to find and celebrate these stories through a series of 15 short branded content videos. Each will depict a story of transmission, from one generation to another, featuring Citroën automobiles.
What you can do to help us?
If you know of this kind of generational stories in your country, if you have contacts for us that might help, dealerships who have had families as clients for years, or family-owned businesses that stayed faithful to Citroën, send them our way.
Which kind of stories are we looking for?
There are three main themes to inspire our stories :
- Passenger Car Focused : where Citroën was always a synonym of freedom, of independence, of shared moments or passion. Stories of going to vacation with Citroën cars, stories of a parent giving his child a Citroën car as his first car, or a Citroën that arrived at the same time as a new family member.
- LCV/PRO focused : companies or family-owned business that stayed faithful to Citroën LCV to serve as the backbone of their mobility and utility needs. Our world is changing, and Citroën Utility vehicles have always adapted to the changing needs of businesses.
- Citroën Dealer Network Focused : some dealerships, subdealers have stayed in Citroën’s network for generations, some were even opened with André Citroën being present. Within our network, around Citroën automobiles, families have kept dealerships. This is the soul of Citroën.
If you have contacts, stories to share, or questions please contact:
Véronique Grisot-Garbacz –Production Manager photos & video at DMC/BCDE firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your help, and let’s make 2019 a year to remember fondly.
Update – Feb. 6, 2019: A presentation outlining the organization of the 100th Anniversary Celebration that will be held on July 19 – 21 at la Ferté-Vidame was shown at a media party for the event at Retromobile. Formally called Rassemblement du Siècle (Rally of the Century), you can download a pdf of it (in French) here.