How many SM's were manufactured: when and by whom?
Below you'll find total SM production figures from the early 1980's. Our sources are Revue Technique Automobile (no author mentioned) and Citroën SM written by Jeff Daniels, both published in 1981. As you will see there are some differences in various years. We have no explanation! We also try to shed some light on Ligier's role at the end of the SM's life. For our American friends we add the number of cars exported to the USA, in divers years, courtesy of Revue Technique Automobile:
|Year of Manufacture||Total number produced||Exported to USA|
Total number produced: 12924
From: Citroën SM 1971-1975, Revue Technique Automobile, E.P.A.,1981
There has been some discussion among the SM-cognoscenti on Ligier's role. See the Ligier page on this site. This is what Jeff Daniels says:
"In April 1974, an odd announcement came from the Citroën press office in Paris concerning an agreement between Ligier and Maserati". Ligier, through the offices of Maserati was, says Daniels, "to retain its identity while becoming part of the Citroën group".
The purpose of this initiative was not mentioned according to Daniëls. This is how the press-release presented the purpose of the agreement: "eventually, the industrial collaboration between Automobiles Citroën and Maserati for certain small-series operations, can in the future be extended to Automobiles Ligier".
The SM wasn't mentioned at all! Readers of the announcement had to deduce that "small-series production" was production of the SM.
Remember, when Maserati struck the deal with Ligier, in April 1974, it was still owned by Citroën. But Maserati's situation was bad financially, like Citroën's.
In December 1974, 6 months after the Ligier press-release Peugeot took control of Citroën. They had to get rid of Maserati. On May 22 in 1975 Citroën (thus Peugeot) decided to liquidate Maserati. In the middle of August De Tomaso took control.
In 1974 Ligier had managed to built 21 SM's. After the Peugeot take-over, Daniels says, the SM was "tucked away down at Abrest" (Ligier's hometown near Vichy in France), "nothing remained in Paris to remind the new masters of its existence.....and sales in France actually stopped".
There is some confusion about the SM's end. After mentioning the end of French sales in 1974, Daniels says that French SM-registrations finish with the "159 cars" of 1974. And "Abrest quietly went on completing 114 cars for export only". Below in Daniels table we find that 294 SM's were produced in 1974. That probably means:
- 159 (built by Citroën for French market)
- + 21 (built by Ligier for French market)
- + 114(built by Ligier for export)
- = 294 cars in total
There is still some confusion. What about the 1975 cars? Revue Technique and Daniëls agree (see both tables) on 294 built in 1974! But they mention respectively 119 and 115 cars built in 1975. To end Daniels story: remaining SM-body shells, rumoured to amount to several hundred, went to the crushers - it might have been more.
Car magazines French correspondent Pierre Beauregard, mentions a 1000 SM bodies remaining after finishing production in his column in September 1976.
By the way, he mentions the SM in 1976, because "the sketchy chassis-frame used on the CX ....will bolt to the bottom of the SM shell as though made for the job, and that a striking front end can be made up of standard SM-wings with CX lamps and bumpers".
Not all had forgotten the SM!
|Year of Manufacture||Produced by
From: Daniels, Jeff, Citroën SM, London, Osprey, 1981