The Amicale Citroën Internationale (ACI) was formally founded in February 2004 in Paris, as the international lobby for all Citroën lovers towards the brand, and upon request by Automobiles Citroën. Informally, this organization has been existing since the late 80s.
Established as a self-organized, completely independent organization and non-commercial according to the French Law of 1901, we are not part of Automobiles Citroën or the PSA Group but work in close co-operation with Automobiles Citroën, DS Automobiles and L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS as our partners.
Automobiles Citroën granted us the exclusive rights of using their company’s name as a part of the name of our organization and related communication (eg. this website). Furthermore, all parties welcomed us as the only official platform and interface between them and the Citroën and DS clubs worldwide. And in many countries also Panhard clubs are part of the ACI network.
In brief, our main objective is to establish and maintain a good contact network amongst the clubs, and between the clubs and the PSA Group parties.
Furthermore, we are responsible for selecting and deciding on the “ACI Event Of The Year” which we present to our partners as being most important for their support. Every 4 years, this will be of course the World Meeting of all Citroën, known as International Citroën Car Club Rally (ICCCR).
Being promoted by us, the 13th ICCCR in Interlaken/Switzerland in 2004 was the first world meeting officially supported by the manufacturer.
The ACI Event of the Year will be announced in our calendar – check it out to read more about the details.
The ACI is a fruit of the Citroën World Meetings. The first meeting was held in Porec (former Yugoslavia) in April/May 1973, the second was at Vienna in summer 1974. There was a meeting in Austria (the first delegates’ meeting) to discuss how the clubs could communicate and work together. In the autumn of that year, following the initiative of David Conway from the British CCC, the first meeting of 17 club delegates took place at the Citroën headquarter – without any French representative being present. There was another meeting in Paris in 1975, but no further action was resulting from it.
The next World Meeting, the first under the name ICCCR (International Citroën Car Clubs Rally), was arranged in 1974, to be in England in 1976. In 1975, the first 2 CV World Meeting was executed in Finland as the idea came up that there should be a 2CV World Meeting to alternate with the ICCCR.
In 1978 the first ICCCR (No.4) was held in France itself. Organizer Yves Levasseur from the Club Traction Universelle convinced Citroën to be present at Chartres – they showed a 2CV Cross and presented almost a full-scoped museum. David Conway was at that time presented to Bernard Citroën and his wife as “the Englishman who organizes Citroën clubs worldwide now.”
The ICCCR continued, although not with fixed intervals and there was some dissatisfaction when they were held every three years and therefore coincided with the 2 CV World meetings which maintained the two year interval. In 1989, the 8th ICCCR in Flevohof (the second in the Netherlands) ended with a positive financial balance, so Herman Sluiter (responsible at the Traction Avant Club Nederland at that time) and Jean-Francois Ruchaud (President of Amicale Citroen in France) had the idea in 1990 to establish an international bank account and create the Amicale Citroën Internationale (ACI) to supervise the ICCCR events.
At the first ACI meeting on the 6th October 1990 the five persons present in Paris were unanimous that only David Conway could be the President of this new international association. Until 1999 David did most of the work (sending out a newsletter, arranging meeting dates, sending invitations for the annual meeting at Rétromobile) on his own. Then he strived to retire and looked for successors.
At that time there were only a few people still believing in this “lobby work”. Citroën at that time were in the period they call themself today the “dark age”: no history, no clubs, no old models was dominating the official strategy.
Times changed with the arrival of the new PSA Head Jean-Martin Folz and especially by the support of the chief of Peugeot’s tradition department, lead by Robert Peugeot.
Between 2000 and 2002, Citroën created the famous archives and collection called “Le Conservatoire” and set up a department for tradition and heritage. Citroën, with a new organization but with very little knowledge as to how the clubs had kept their history worldwide alive for more than 20 years, initiated the first contact with the ACI in autumn 2002. It was a long process and there were many meetings held until February 2004 when the new and formally organized ACI was established, recognized today by Citroën as the official and only platform to communicate with the clubs and their members.
With the foundation of the new brand “DS Automobiles” which extracted the genesis of the new DS models into a dedicated brand, an interim period came up where cars like DS3 and DS5 with the almost same visual identity, just differentiated from a newly designed grille, were somehow in between the two brands.
Thus, it was a natural and also logical consequence to not split up unnecessarily but rather embrace the new DS clubs and their members into the ACI club structure. Consequently, in 2015 the ACI Delegates decided in a Special General Assembly to extend the reach of ACI – “bringing together the Citroën and DS clubs of the world”.
With the newly founded heritage organization “L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS”, part of the PSA Group, a new partner appeared on the stage. This means today the ACI is now in a multi-lateral situation: looking towards today and the future with the brands Automobiles Citroën and DS Automobiles while also connecting to the history with L’Aventure.
It should be explicitly noted that the ACI is not the heritage association of the clubs, but embraces drivers, clubs and enthusiasts of old and modern vehicles, from 1919 until today. In many clubs around the world, owners of new cars have organized and are an essential part of the club life – be it eg. DS3, Citroën Pluriel, C6 (new) or other vehicles from the recent years – long time before they become historic vehicles.