Turning DS into a standalone brand has helped to strengthen Citroën, according to the latter firm’s product planning boss.
The French firm re-introduced the DS moniker as a sub-brand in 2010, in order to expand its range with more premium models. It was then spun off into a full standalone premium brand within the PSA Group in 2015.
While there were fears adding a third PSA brand alongside Peugeot and Citroën might confuse buyers, Citroën product planning boss Xavier Peugeot says the split has freed up his brand to focus on comfort and design.
“When the decision was made by [PSA Group chief] Carlos Tavares to create DS there were some reactions in the Group that it would be very difficult for Citroën, having lost a key asset.
“But we’ve demonstrated it was a tremendous opportunity for Citroën to re-establish its DNA, and to focus on its core model strategy and positioning. The results in Europe in the last five years show we can be successful, and now there are no more questions about the content of the Citroen brand, and there are clear differences in territory between all the PSA brands.”
In particular, Peugeot said splitting off DS has made it easier for Citroën to focus on a limited number of models, rather than having different line-ups in different global regions.
He added that PSA’s approach of introducing shared platforms and powertrains, but giving each brand freedom to design within that, means there is no risk of overlap between the brands.
“We are battling because we are all using the same tools, but we can play with them in different ways,” he said. “When we work on new models I claim for technologies for comfort and creativity, while Peugeot, DS and Opel [Vauxhall] will ask for other things in line with their values.”