Currently reading: Citroen 'strengthened' by creation of DS brand
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.

“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.”

Read more

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DS brand formally splits from Citroën at 2015 Paris show

PSA Group 'ready' for massive EV expansion

Analysis: how PSA boss Tavares transformed the car group

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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rmcondo 22 July 2019

PSA Quiz

PSA Quiz

Brand values and characteristcs:

Peugeot =

Citroen =

DS =

Vauxhall =

Opel =



Ski Kid 22 July 2019

DS has tanked as a brand over last 2 years

I prefer Citroen as a brand do not like DS brand there sales have halved over last year i n the Uk .Peougeot seem to be thriving .DS is not a premium brand .

MrJ 22 July 2019

Ahem, 'vehicle.' But my point

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

WallMeerkat 22 July 2019

MrJ wrote:

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.