The French manufacturer's premium brand will stand alone from next year in a bid to match the appeal and exclusivity of Audi by 2020
12 September 2014

The DS brand will drop the Citroën badge in Europe next year and aims to be challenging Audi by 2020, according to PSA chairman Carlos Tavares.

Speaking to Autocar Tavares said: "From 2015 DS will be disconnected from Citroën. We don't need to have separate platforms, or even separate dealers, but we will have separate manufacturing and engineering standards".

The aim is to match the appeal and exclusivity of Audi by the next decade. "DS can be an Audi rival by 2020. The products in the pipeline are extremely exciting but we are not just going into premium as we're not going to be fighting the Germans with the same weapons.

"We want to convey a French sophistication, trendiness and the French way of life. The Germans can't do this and we'll see some concept cars that will back this up."

DS brand boss Yves Bonnefort has already admitted that the company will expand from three to six models in the coming few years, including a luxury saloon for China, the DS9, an SUV and, possibly a Fiat 500 rival for Europe.

At next month's Paris motor show it will unveil the Devine DS show car, previewing a new look. Tavares, however, is keen to stress that the brand won't be looking for Audi-style sales volumes.

"We have to be patient about sales and I don't want to measure success in this way. We'll measure it in per unit profit and making huge margins. This is a long run 20 to 30 year story," he said.

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Our Verdict

DS5
The Citroën DS5 offers an intriguing blend of coupé, hatchback and estate car looks

The Citroën DS5 is a handsome hatchback designed with a premium feel

12 September 2014
would be quite cool if that's what they mean by Fiat 500 rival.

12 September 2014
...... I for one sincerely hope that they can. There are one or two things that they need to rectify though, the main one being the ride comfort of their larger models, like the DS4 and DS5, which both look really good but don't apparently ride as many think a car from the Citroen/Peugeot stable should, particularly ones that wear the iconic DS brand. I would also worry slightly about the looks of some aspects of the DS range. The DS3 looks good to my eyes, and I like the boldness of the DS4 and the elegant DS5, but this new Devine concept looks OK from the front, but what were they thinking about when they designed that odd looking roof/rear window area ? Perhaps they should think of something a little simpler and more elegant rather than aiming to please the weird (and to European eyes, "unsophisticated") Chinese/Far East market. Despite all that, I have always liked Citroens and enjoyed driving them, right from an uncle's DS when I was 17 through 2CV, Visa, GS and BX all owned by either myself or family members.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

12 September 2014
I've always though that the DS brand sits uneasily in the current Citroen range - if anything it's better aligned with Peugeot. But Tavares seems to be putting out a lot of contradictory statements. On the one hand, he claims that DS aims to challenge Audi, "but we are not going into premium" . And then, where is all the money coming from to develop all these stand alone products?

12 September 2014
Are Citroen really big enough to do this? Do they have the sales volumes to create a duplicate dealer network? And how will Citroen dealers feel about the higher margin cars being taken away? Finally, they say "the brand won't be looking for Audi sales volumes". Its probably just as well...

12 September 2014
But then they'll be left with all those dogs under the Citroen brand.

12 September 2014
The Citroen brand when I grew up was known for several things. They were quirky and bold, some such as the 2CV were utilitarian, and some such as the DS were luxurious. Unfortunately they then became bland. Stylish and luxurious is the right direction for DS. Quirky and utilitarian is the direction Citroen should go. They have made a good start with the Cactus, but it should be reflected in the price when features are taken away.

12 September 2014
This is uncannily like Austin Rover dropping the "Austin" name from the Montego etc in 1988. ARG spouted precisely the same guff about "not chasing volume" and "in it for the long haul" and "Britishness" etc. Spookily, they cited "unit profit" too. And we all know how that panned out.

A34

12 September 2014
French Design, High Quality, Car. Choose any two.

13 September 2014
A34 wrote:
French Design, High Quality, Car. Choose any two.
I think the day of thinking like that are numbered. If you've sat in a new 308 you'll see why.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

12 September 2014
It's a f***ing joke. With the new TT, A3 one absolutely cannot accuse Audi of having all style without substance anymore. With the exception of DS3 that's what the current DS cars are - al mouth and no trousers. They've even ditched the pneumatic suspension. The C6 was actually a great, great, spacious and well-riding Citroen. And what a gorgeous looking car as well.

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