CITROEN CLUBS IN BC

There have been a variety of Citroën clubs that served BC over the years.  One of the first serious attempts was Citroën Autoclub Canada that started in 1973 (see the 1973 section of this article for details).  Note that there is another club with the same name on the eastern side of Canada.

 

Starting in the 1980’s, there was the 2CVGB Resister, edited by Chris Adshead. Over the years, several local clubs have ‘sort of’ merged. The Northwest Citroën Owners Club (NWCOC), which started in Seattle, integrated with the Citroën Autoclub Canada (BC), and 2CVBC. In April of 1990, Chris Adshead compiled the 50th newsletter of Citroën Autoclub Canada BC and the Editorial said it was to be the last,

 

“…the club is to merge with the Northwest Citroën Owners Club effective this month. Unfortunately, the reason for this being that no Canadians were willing to take over running the club! After five years Monika and I felt it was time to step aside and let someone else do some the work, as running club is a major drain on both time and energy. We have enjoyed very much re-building the club, and from zero, we now have over 100 members. (Quite a feat, with our only advertising being word of mouth.) We will however remain as Editor of the combined newsletter.”

We checked in with Chris Adshead recently for this history article and he said,

 “…At that time, a large part of the club membership was in Washington State. We had by then decided to join with the NWCOC, Monika and I produced Citroën Communique, masthead graphic by Allan Meyer and input from so many people, it was fun and we loved putting it all together with genuine old fashioned cut and paste. We continued putting the combined newsletter together until Issue #70 April 1992….”

It was then taken over by Robert May and Roland Faragher-Howell in Seattle. Issue #123 saw Tom Tuling take over as Editor until #142. With #143 in March of 2000, a crisis was averted when Chris Dubuque and Julie Tasnady took over, and they continued until #162 July/August 2002 which was the last issue to use the name, Citroën Communique.

September-October 2002 saw a newsletter with a new name, Pacific Citroën News starting over with issue #1. Pacific Citroën News later became an E-Newsletter.  In this period, the venerable Citroen Car Club of California (CCC), which started in Los Angeles in the 1956, stopped producing their own newsletter and was replaced with the Pacific Citroën News. 

Allan Meyer continues today creating this wonderful publication. 

Citroenvie.com has also emerged as an important resource for the North American Citroën enthusiast. The following is from their site:

 

“…CITROËNVIE is a community of Citroën enthusiasts with a passion for Citroën automobiles.  Created in 2008 by Citroën Autoclub Canada (based in Toronto, ON), we focus on Citroën from a North American perspective.  CITROËNVIE offers information about events and other Citroën activities throughout Canada and the USA.  We also deliver news, technical articles and interesting historical information about Citroën.

Our publishing efforts began back in 1983 with the Citroën Autoclub Canada newsletter.   Since 2001, George Dyke and John McCulloch (up until his passing on Nov. 16, 2017) served as co-editors for Citroën Autoclub Canada.  The content and format of their work on the CAC newsletter quickly garnered professional recognition and in late 2002 their roles were expanded to include publishing the Citroënthusiast for the Citroën Club of North America.

As the means to electronically deliver content to club members became increasingly viable there was a desire, expressed by the publishers, to take a more open tact to embrace all North American Citroën clubs and offer superlative Citroën magazine content.  Included in this effort, sections devoted to Clubs and organizations to outline activities and events that promote the Citroën lifestyle.  In January 2009 CITROËNVIE magazine made its 40 page full colour debut, along with a new virtual Citroën community established around it.

In 2013 we shifted to a solely web-based publishing effort, creating an online presence that continues to serve as a terrific means for Citroën owners in Canada & the USA to network with each other, as well as connect with Citroën parts and service suppliers worldwide. On our website, you can stay current with Citroën activities and read all our past issues of CITROËNVIE magazine.  By joining CITROËNVIE as a member you have access to everything we have done, including full resolution versions of CITROËNVIE, our online Roster, Services Resource Directory, 5 years of Citroënthusiast newsletters, our vast technical documents and Citroën archives.

 

Though CITROËNVIE is our moniker these days we do still keep the Citroën Autoclub Canada name and use it to associate our heritage and keep our older members comfortable with the fact that we are still alive and well beyond the world of the internet…”

In June of 2013 NWCOC member Greg Long started a Facebook Group called ‘Citroëns of Seattle’. Greg loves how FaceBook allows people to be a content provider, a content consumer, or both. Greg also appreciates its immediacy of information dissemination: One quickly knows when a Citroën is for sale in, for example, Kamloops, Kimberley, or Kyuquot. Or a new DS review shows up somewhere in the world. Or, to help one find help and parts quickly and seamlessly. We also love the ability to simply augment stories with my own photos. Everyone can get involved, or not. Enough of the hard sell...

 

Soon after launch Johnny MacGregor asked, “Can you open the group up to BC too?” That made perfect sense so it changed to ‘Citroëns of Cascadia’ and now have over 1,100 members with 788 deemed ‘Active’ meaning they’re interacting with the content. 

BACK TO THE FUTURE?

Citroën’s parent company PSA, has set up shop in Atlanta, Georgia in 2018 and this will be the beachhead for PSA’s North American return.  PSA CEO Carlos Tavares announced plans in 2016 to resume sales in North America, and PSA North America President Larry Dominique said the company must be a player in the world’s second-largest auto market.

“…PSA’s brands also include DS and former General Motors nameplates Opel and Vauxhall, which the company acquired last year. The company sold 3.6 million vehicles in 2017, with Europe accounting for about two-thirds of all sales…” 

Dominique said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“…We have no legacy, we have no infrastructure, we have no existing IT, we have no existing dealerships. We have an opportunity to look at new technology, and the way people want to buy cars and do things in a leaner way…”

Dominque said the company is still examining how it will sell its products in North America. A Tesla model of direct sales comes with substantial costs, and many states have laws requiring vehicles be sold via franchised dealers. It also takes time and money to build dealer franchises.

PSA’s first product to launch in the U.S. is its Free2Move app, a mobility app that connects users to every car-sharing service — such as Zipcar — in a given city. Matt DeLorenzo, managing editor for news at the automotive trade publication Kelley Blue Book, said U.S. customers might be re-acquainted with PSA’s brands first through the Free2Move app. PSA could use ride-sharing and so-called vehicle subscription services as low-cost ways of entering the U.S. market.

But PSA has a substantial challenge ahead of it to crack into the North American market.  More than three dozen brands are sold in the U.S., and virtually all have expansive and costly networks of franchised dealers and service centers, and many manufacture at least some of their models in North America. For now, PSA has no plans to manufacture vehicles in North America. 

PSA has not named which of its brands will be its first to return to North America. Peugeot and Citroën would hold nostalgia for some buyers, and the luxury Citroën or DS nameplates would come with higher profit margins, said DeLorenzo, the Kelley Blue Book editor. 

 

J. Scott Trubey, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jan 23, 2018 said,

“…PSA is not going to be a big player…They’re not coming in to be a big disrupter. They are here to play in the luxury and near-luxury arenas. They have some models that are clearly different…” 

I’m not sure I’d call the new line of Citroëns ‘clearly different’ but it would certainly be fun and interesting to have the brand back in BC, close to 50 years after it disappeared. 

THE END...FOR NOW

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