Currently reading: Autocar confidential: DS spurns volume, Picanto to live on and more
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2 mins read
21 April 2020

In this week's round-up of automotive gossip, we hear why DS could be less fussed about volume, Volkswagen predicts the demise of small diesels and more.

DS won't chase volume

DS Automobiles is “very profitable”, according to PSA Europe boss Maxime Picat. Pre-lockdown, the brand saw increases in both sales and profits, yet PSA won’t be chasing volume. Picat said the company is aware that it could take as many as 40 years to establish DS as a global premium brand. “We know it will take time to win hearts in the UK and Germany,” he said, adding: “If you say you’re going to sell 400,000 units a year, you put pressure on it.”

Picanto to weather city car storm

There's still life yet for the Kia Picanto, despite the ongoing demise of the city car segment. Kia UK boss Paul Philpott said that while volume is likely to be reduced from 18,000 units in 2019 to 12,000 in 2020 in order for Kia to meet its EU-set CO2 emissions targets, there is a definite future for the Picanto in the UK.

Small diesels are goners, says VW

Ever-toughening emissions standards will make diesel unviable for smaller cars, according to Volkswagen technical boss Matthias Rabe. He believes the investment required to meet the planned Euro 7 standards will make diesel engines too expensive for the Polo and Golf in future, although “it will make sense for SUVs with higher weight and more drag”.

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PHEVs 'most important' for Cupra

Cupra chief Wayne Griffiths believes plug-in hybrids, as available in the new Leon hatchback and estate and Formentor SUV, will be “the most important derivatives” in the brand’s range. “Hybrids were touted as something boring and not sporty, but the technology hasn’t been fully exhausted,” he said. “We’ve just started, and there’s a long way to go.”

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9

21 April 2020

At last VW speak sense about diesel power, should never have got above 20% max market share, said it myself several years ago. Be more than happy to see it gone altogether SOON as the petrol ICE might be around a bit longer then.

RIP Diesel (rattle in peace)

21 April 2020
xxxx wrote:

At last VW speak sense about diesel power, should never have got above 20% max market share, said it myself several years ago. Be more than happy to see it gone altogether SOON as the petrol ICE might be around a bit longer then.

RIP Diesel (rattle in peace)

Absolute rubbish as usual - diesel was TOTALLY the right way to go due to its efficeincy and lower CO2 output, the mistake was not having far, far stricter emissions regs 15 years ago - mandatory DPFs and AdBlu - whilst encouraging diesel use. Since diesel sales have dropped, European COs emissions have increased, making global warming worse, total madness.

 

DS will struggle anywhere, not just the UK and Germany, so long as it churns out horrid cars that have no business wearing the DS (let alone Citroen) badge.

21 April 2020

DS seem to be pretty relaxed about its business case and projected volumes.  Profitability is key to ensure survival and if it can do that with lower volumes at the beginning, then it sounds like it is being well managed from a business point of view.  As a car enthusiast however, those initials "DS" have always led me to expected it to take over from Citroen of old and be interesting, almost avante-garde, in its designs and technologies.  We are often promised this but are continually disappointed.  The DS 5 was the closest it got, but inexplicably it messed up the ride.  I've given up hope - let DS get on with it if it can make a profit but I'm not a fan, so far.

21 April 2020

I have never understood the whole point of DS. All PSA cars are made from the same basic building blocks (and many of the cars are OK).

Just because someone tells you a version with a different badge on it is 'premium', does not make it so! Either all PSA cars are premium, or none, but there is nothing special about DS other than if you buy one, you are unlikely to meet someone else with the same car. If DS had 6 pot engines, or were all electric at least they would have something to stand out, but there is nothing except a higher price, and i fail to see why that would attact anyone.

21 April 2020

Of course DS is using exactly the same business model as Audi, and that is profitable enough!

21 April 2020
artill wrote:

I have never understood the whole point of DS. All PSA cars are made from the same basic building blocks (and many of the cars are OK).

Just because someone tells you a version with a different badge on it is 'premium', does not make it so! Either all PSA cars are premium, or none, but there is nothing special about DS other than if you buy one, you are unlikely to meet someone else with the same car. If DS had 6 pot engines, or were all electric at least they would have something to stand out, but there is nothing except a higher price, and i fail to see why that would attact anyone.

21 April 2020
The same can be said for Audi, who use the same building blocks as Skoda seat and vw, but they're successful at being premium.

21 April 2020
si73 wrote:

The same can be said for Audi, who use the same building blocks as Skoda.

I can remember some wag on this site some time ago referring to Audis as "those Skoda based cars with four rings on the front"!  But Audi spent the money on and wooed the public with beautiful interiors and build quality and never mind the prosaic mechanicals.  It seems to have worked.  

21 April 2020
si73 wrote:

The same can be said for Audi, who use the same building blocks as Skoda seat and vw, but they're successful at being premium.

Whilst i feel the same about Audi as i do DS, at least Audi do make cars using platforms that are not used in cheaper VAG products, and have access to V6 and V8 engines. These also dont generally appear in other less 'Premium' VAG products, even if parts are still shared with Porsche, Bentley, and even Lamborghini

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