Citroen's product planning chief says spinning off premium sub-brand has allowed firm to focus on key values

Citroën's image has been strengthened by the decision to split DS into a standalone brand, according to its product planning boss.

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.

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“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.”

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Comments
12

22 July 2019

I agree. The blandness and mediocrity of the current DS line up has certainly emphasised the different styles offered by the Citroen and Peugeot models.

22 July 2019

Is DS actually like one of those "bad banks" established after the financial crisis, as a receptacle for all those non-performing loans?  It's a decade old and, DS3 apart, has yet to produce a convincing model.

22 July 2019

And the point was? To recreate a car company that makes an (overpriced) reskinned Citroen cars at unprofitable levels?

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

22 July 2019
xxxx wrote:

And the point was? To recreate a car company that makes an (overpriced) reskinned Citroen cars at unprofitable levels?

Actually, I read that the DS7 Crossback was PSA's most profitable model. Probably because it costs virtually the same as a Peugeot 3008 to make, but retails for many £1,000s more.

22 July 2019
Jeremy wrote:

xxxx wrote:

And the point was? To recreate a car company that makes an (overpriced) reskinned Citroen cars at unprofitable levels?

Actually, I read that the DS7 Crossback was PSA's most profitable model. Probably because it costs virtually the same as a Peugeot 3008 to make, but retails for many £1,000s more.

It's the development, design, support, admin, cost of sales etc that needs to be taken into account, it's not just the manufacturer cost over a 3008.  Sales in April for the WHOLE DS company in the highly profitable European market where just 3,646 cars!!

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

22 July 2019

Yeah, right. if the guy says it, it muct be true. People in business don't lie.

DS sales bear him out.

22 July 2019
rmcondo wrote:

Yeah, right. if the guy says it, it muct be true. People in business don't lie.

DS sales bear him out.

...it's quite possibly its most profitable model per unit sold.

MrJ

22 July 2019

If only the DS brand had vehecle that rivalled the elegance of the original DS. 

MrJ

22 July 2019

Ahem, 'vehicle.' But my point holds - how I would love to see a tidied-up reworking of the DS21 Pallas, or the Chapron convertible.

22 July 2019
MrJ wrote:

Ahem, 'vehicle.' But my point holds - how I would love to see a tidied-up reworking of the DS21 Pallas, or the Chapron convertible.

Absolutely, but the original DS wasn't a "me too!" crossover SUV, so the MBA product managers at DS-automobiles aren't interested.

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