Currently reading: DS boss vows to “do better” in UK with new model
CEO Béatrice Foucher hopes the new DS 4 will provide the springboard to better UK sales
Steve Cropley Autocar
2 mins read
4 February 2021

DS CEO Béatrice Foucher says she is “not happy” with the sales performance of the brand in the UK so far but is confident the new C-segment DS 4, soon to be launched here, can provide a springboard into this country’s “very large and competitive” premium market.

“We have been underperforming,” she says, “but I don’t believe our cars are the problem. We have great products and we are happy with the way they are positioned. The cars we have coming also fit the market. It is more a matter of customer mindset, of communication. We have not yet found the right way to persuade UK premium customers to move on from their traditional brands. We must work harder on that.”

DS will continue to sell its French-oriented 'haute couture' design message, says Foucher, although she believes the firm must also stress its cutting-edge technology – such as its plug-in hybrid models that also offer 4x4 – because “we are not selling handbags”. With the right marketing, she believes the DS 4 can achieve “a big sales increase in the UK” although she admits to not yet having all the answers in what has proved a difficult market.

Even so, DS’s 2021 offensive will include “careful” sale of the already launched DS 9 luxury saloon, with supplies limited so as to avoid over-stocking and price discounting. DS dealers and bosses are already well aware of the poor residuals performance of large French saloons in the UK. “DS 9 is a very nice car, an exceptional car,” said Foucher. “We will take care not to kill it.”

Referring to DS’s status within the newly formed Stellantis group, Foucher welcomed the opportunity to be part of a “premium pool” with Alfa Romeo and Lancia. “Having sisters and brothers makes us stronger,” she said. “We can develop new premium technology to share across our brands that might have been too expensive on our own.”

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DS retains its previously revealed ambition eventually to offer six models rather than the current four, but will not rush the process, Foucher said.


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New DS 9 saloon takes aim at Audi A4

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Gerhard 8 February 2021

When will Citroen realise that DS doesn't really 'work' as a premium brand in the UK. The buying public is a bit too finely tuned with the likes of RR, Bentley and JLR to consider chromed up Citroens as 'premium'. By all means offer 'luxury' versions of your cheap cars, but don't expect the UK to pay BMW money for a little French car with some chrome and leather, Madame. Some brands just can't be 'Guccified'.

Adora25810 4 February 2021
I have a DS3 crossback....great car inside and out BUT DS have the worst customer's really really bad so would not recommend them at all.

I only had minor issues but it took 3 weeks to get a reply via email and even then that reply was telling me to do something I said I already have done in the email I sent them first.

Oh and a big BIG issue is if you are buying or bought one of their cars so the warranty is not voided for services and MOTs you are required to take the car to a DS dealership for these to be done.....issue is there's only a handful dotted around the UK lol nearest one to me is a 60 mile round trip

For some I've talked to online it's been a 120 mile round trip

Luckily I've got mine on a 2 year lease as I got a lockdown bargain (first lockdown) and my lease company said I can take mine to any VAT registered garage for the service as the warranty is not my issue since it's on lease

scrap 4 February 2021

"It's not our cars that are the problem but the customers."

Hmm. They say the French are typically arrogant so maybe she is trying to embody this as a brand value? May I suggest perhaps a little more humility? No sane person is going to pay £40k + for a car that is essentially a £25k Peugeot underneath. They are out of their depth.

Jeremy 4 February 2021
scrap wrote:

No sane person is going to pay £40k + for a car that is essentially a £25k Peugeot underneath. They are out of their depth.

Plenty of people pay £40k plus for a Mercedes A-class with a Renault engine! (Not saying they are sane, mind).

Rick Maverick 6 February 2021

A scrappy individual from England pointing to other nation's alleged arrogance? Interesting.