French industrialist André Citroën had been building arms for the French army during WWI by the end of the war he was left with great industrial facilities but no product for the post war market.
In 1919 he founded Citroen that became the first mass-production car company outside the USA and a pioneer of the modern marketing as well as factory backed services network. Mind you, even Eiffel Tower served as a billboard for Citroën from 1925 to 1934 -Mon Dieu, monsier!
Soon Citroën earned a reputation for innovation and revolutionary engineering. Staying true to their slogan "Créative Technologie" Citroën has many "firsts" under their belt:
Europe’s first all-steel-bodied car, the B10 In 1934.
The world's first mass-produced front-wheel drive car,Traction Avant, (also one of the first cars to feature a monocoque-type body)
The world's first hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system, introduced with the revolutionary Citroën DS / ID models in 1955, as well as the first production car with disc brakes.
Swiveling headlights in 1967, and finally variable assist power steering in 1970
With Citroën purchasing Maserati in 1968 a door opened for a high speed GT-model that would compete with Ferrari, Aston Martin et. al, when introduced Citroen SM was the world's fastest fwd-car.