Paris – May 14, 2017
Emmanuel Macron did not deviate Sunday during his inauguration ceremony from the presidential tradition of riding in a Citroen along the Champs-Elysee. (Well did he ride in a Citroen or the new DS brand that PSA has chosen to create? We’ll call it Citroen in spite of what the company wants to say is a whole new division these days). This year the new DS7 Crossback was chosen. Its a high-end compact SUV manufactured in Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin) whose price starts at more than 50,000 euros for the limited edition. The production model is slated to appear on the roads beginning next year. For the custom presidential version the vehicle was fitted with a tailor-made sunroof.
Before the Champs-Elysées parade, Emmanuel Macron traveled there in an ACMAT military truck manufactured in Saint-Nazaire to testify, according to a spokesman, his support for the armed forces.
The presidents of the Fifth Republic have always alternated French brands in their travels, the fleet of the Elysée ensuring a balance between the two national manufacturers PSA and Renault. This Sunday, Emmanuel Macron arrived at the Elysée for the transfer of power aboard an armoured grey Renault Espace 5. However, the cars chosen to ferry new presidents down the famous Parisian avenue on the day of the investiture, have historically always been Citroën, though François Mitterrand chose a Renault for his first inauguration and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and Nicolas Sarkozy opted Peugeot (a 604 and 607 Paladine respectively).
The tradition goes back to the 1950-60s, with the special bodied Traction 15-6 limousines (by Henri Traction and René Coty) to the DS 19 of General Charles de Gaulle, the latter having shunned the luxury sports brand of Eure-et-Loir Facel Vega.
Here is a video about Citroën’s presidential cars and a behind the scenes how they made a Citroën DS5 Hybrid4 convertible in less than 5 days for the inauguration of previous president François Hollande.