French president-elect picks green car for inauguration
The vehicle will include a sunroof, allowing the incoming president to wave to supporters.
Wed, May 09, 2012 at 02:03 PM
GREEN CAR AND POLITICS: Citroen DS5 car at the international car show in Frankfurt, Germany. The car is a hybrid with an electric and diesel engine. (Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP)
PARIS — When incoming French president Francois Hollande arrives at his inauguration on May 15, it will be in an eco-friendly car from Citroen, a brand with ties to the occasion going back to the 1950s.
"It's an honor and much pride to have a president of the Republic pick one of our cars," a Citroen spokesman told AFP on May 9.
The Socialist Hollande, who secured his spot as the Elysee Palace's newest resident in Sunday's election win over President Nicolas Sarkozy, will ride in a metallic-gray DS5 hybrid boasting an electric and diesel engine.
But the standard model sold in stores will be jazzed up with a sunroof for the drive down the Champs-Elysees, allowing Hollande to wave to supporters.
The first French president to opt for a Citroen vehicle was the center-right Rene Coty, who in 1954 chose the Traction 15/6 H, a symbol of the French Resistance during the war.
But it was Charles de Gaulle who brought celebrity to the brand when he escaped an assassination attempt aboard a Citroen DS in 1962 — two tires were punctured by bullets but the president left unharmed.
The outgoing Sarkozy arrived at his 2007 inauguration in a Peugeot 607 Paladine — a dark, sleek vehicle with a folding hardtop.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition