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Vehicle group codes

There was a time when most Citroën spare parts (except nuts and bolt and other generic parts) had references starting with letters related indicating the model, the part was originally intended for. For instance AM 961 3, which is an Ami windscreen.

With the appearance of other number series, for instance numbers 5 000 000 or ZC 9000 000 U, from around 1970, it was not possible to see anymore which model or group of organs, the part belonged to. In order to serve this need, Citroën (in their spare parts catalogues, price lists etc.) gave the spare part numbers a prefix denoting the model and spare parts group. When ordering the parts, still the original number only should be quoted, but in catalogues, price lists and not least on the labels on the parts themselves, this group prefix was included. This helped (and still helps) anyone working with Citroën spare parts to see immediately where a given spare part fits.

The group code consists of a number (usually 1-9), denoting what part of the car (or what group of organs, as it is called in French) the part belongs to. This is followed by one or two letters, denoting what car model the part was originally intended for. A particular spare part can, however, be re-used on other parts of a car or on other models, but the first time the part entered the catalogue, it got this group code. This is not completely static, though, as there are numerous examples where a spare part changes group code over time.

Below, you find lists of vehicle group codes for the different models.

The old vehicle group codes used in the 70's with just one letter, can be found in this (possibly incomplete) table.

Model letter Model
A 2CV/all A models
CAmi Super
FAmi Break
NN/NY ("Belphégor")
PP ("Belphégor")
T All models (tous types)
U 2CV van (AU)
WCX Break
XGS Birotor
Z 2CV with 425cc motor and on

You note that nearly all letters are used. It looks as though the models that existed when this system was taken into use in 1970 has been assigned a letter that relates to the existing model names: A for 2CV, D for D-models, G for GS, H for H/HZ/HY, K for AK, M for Ami=AM, N and P for Belphégor, S for SM, U for AU, Y for Dyane=AY and Z for AZ. Later on, it seems more or less like models are assigned to the next available letter.

Between N and P, it seems that O has been skipped to avoid confusion with a number, and the only "unassigned" letter is therefore V. This brings us to the exciting question: Is there yet another model not in the list that ought to be? Obvious candidates are FOM or C180K/C350K. All observations on this are welcome.

The new vehicle group letters, which are still in use today, can be found in the folllowing table. Some of these codes are the same letter that are used to denote the models in other contexts (spare parts numbers with letters, chassis numbers, mould numbers etc), but it varies from one context to another, and therefore, this list is (at most) correct in the context of spare parts references.

Vehicle group codesModel
AAMultiple A models
ABAmi Break
ASAmi Super
AT2CV 4x4
AW2CV Sahara
AYDyane (+ Méhari)
FBXantia Break
GZGS Birotor
MBCX Break
NBZX Break
PBXsara Break
SAAmi Super Break, now Saxo
TROltcit (Romanian Axel)
TTAll models (tous types)
WBC5 Break
XCBX Break
XXBX 4x4
YBXM Break

An example of a list of most vehicle group codes from a spare parts catalogue from 1987.

Supplementary to these model codes for the cars themselves, Citroën also used spare parts type codes from around september 1997. They denote other kinds of spare parts, such as accessories and the parts that do not belong to a particular vehicle.

Group code Spare parts type
AJA-model accessories
BJC35 accessories
EJBerlingo accessories
FJXantia accessories
KJBX accessories
MJCX accessories
NJZX accessories
JJC25 accessories
PJXsara accessories
RJEvasion accessories
SJSaxo accessories
UJJumpy accessories
VJC15 accessories
XJJumper accessories
YJXM accessories
ZJAX accessories
STStandard accessories
S1Paint RM
S2Paint AKZO
S3Paint PPG
S5Paint Herberts
S7Paint Dupont-Nemours
SDVarious standard accessories
SXAccessories for other makes
A0Non-specific accessories
A1Accessories: Cargo carrier, towing rope etc
A5Accessories: Electronic equipment
A6Accessories: Burglar alarm
A7Accessories: Sound equipment
A8Accessories: Marketing items
B0Tooling OAV
B1Tooling CPR
B2Produkter "Image Boutique"
B3Produkter som ikke hÝrer til "Image Boutique"
B7Produkter: LR
B8Produkter: Batterier
LAVN formularer (Voitures neuves/Nye biler)
LBVO formularer (Voitures d'occassion/Brugte biler)
LCAPV formularer
LDVPA formularer
LEMikrofilm reservedele
LFKataloger reservedele
LGCD-ROM med reservedele
LNSalgstavler, nye biler (PLV VN)
LPSalgstavler, brugte biler (PLV VO)
LQSalgstavler, leasing (PLV LQ)

The source of this table is some internal Citroën documentation. It is translated to the best of my ability, but I have not yet figured out what CPR, OAV, APV and VPA stands for.

Generally, you have to be aware, that many different sets of model codes have been used over time and in different contexts. They may seem quite similar, but may differ in important points. Some of these different contexts are:

If you, based on one source, for instance think that you have now understood the difference between AM and AMB or between D and DT, you have to be aware that it very much depends what context those codes come from.

Take Ami8 as an example. It was sold as Ami8 (except in Spain where it was called C8), but in the first spare parts catalogues, it has the model designation AM 3 (or in the different versions with the large rear door AMB 3, AMF 3 or AMC 3). In catalogues from the 70's, spare parts have the model prefix E (or F) and later AM (or AB). Spare parts produced for this model may start with the letters AM, AMB, AMF, AMN and AMU, and later on of course have a number in the 5 000 000 series. A complicating factor is also the fact that while Ami6 and Ami8 have separate vehicle group codes in the 70's (M resp. E), they share the prefix AM in the 80's. In French type approvals, Ami8 has the official designation ("code mines") "AM série JA" (for break versions JA and JC) and the so-called model guarantee designation is AMB, JA, JA and JC, depending on the particular model.

Other examples are the 2CV van, which originally was named AU, later AZU and AK. In the 70's it has the vehicle group code U in spare parts catalogues, but spare parts beginning with U has (normally) nothing to do with this model. Everyone knows the model AX, produced 1986-98, but the spare parts starting with AX from around 1969 have nothing to do with the AX model. AX on the other hand, has the vehicle group code ZA, but spare parts starting with ZA are typically made for the C35 van.

It is equally complicated for most of the other models. When you associate a particular code with a particilar model, it is always very important to make it clear what context and period you are talking about.

Last, but not least, it is also very important to maintain some scepticism and common sense. Take a look, for instance, at this label on an exhaust pipe:

The first thought that comes to mind, is that the model code DV must be some kind of D-model — however, it is not in any of the tables above. Is this a very rare ID ambu safari break commerciale in a military edition for exotic export markets, you wonder? You may even be confused by the fact that there are indeed spare parts numbers that start with DV. Exciting? No — this is, alas, just a dull exhaust pipe for a Visa, which should have had the model code 6VD instead of 6DV. Another specimen of this part in my stock has this label without the error:

From all this, you can derive that these spare part number labes are probably not printed directly from a computer that does a lookup in a database, but rather produced by a more manual process.