Two years before the outbreak of the Second World War, Pierre Michelin passed away, leaving Citroën in control of Boulanger. During Germany’s occupation of France, Boulanger refused to meet with Ferdinand Porsche, who was making parts for the Wehrmacht. He also organized a “go-slow” on the production of trucks that he was coerced into producing for the German forces, and is said to have sabotaged many of them, putting the notch on the oil dipstick in the wrong place and so causing engine seizures. As a result, he was placed on the Nazi blacklist of “enemies of the Reich”, to be arrested on sight.
During and after the war, Citroën researchers continued their work. They developed a reputation as avante garde designers, pioneering aerodynamic body design and designing swivelling headlights, a hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system, disc brakes and power steering, giving Citroën parts a name in being forward thinking and innovative.. Thanks to its spirit of innovation (encapsulated in the brand’s current slogan: “Créative Technologie”), Citroën gained a level of brand loyalty from its customers previously seen only for luxury brands like Ferrari and Porsche.