Currently reading: DS brand to drop Citroën badge in Europe in 2015
The French manufacturer's premium brand will stand alone from next year in a bid to match the appeal and exclusivity of Audi by 2020
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2 mins read
12 September 2014

The DS brand will drop the Citroën badge in Europe next year and aims to be challenging Audi by 2020, according to PSA chairman Carlos Tavares.

Speaking to Autocar Tavares said: "From 2015 DS will be disconnected from Citroën. We don't need to have separate platforms, or even separate dealers, but we will have separate manufacturing and engineering standards".

The aim is to match the appeal and exclusivity of Audi by the next decade. "DS can be an Audi rival by 2020. The products in the pipeline are extremely exciting but we are not just going into premium as we're not going to be fighting the Germans with the same weapons.

"We want to convey a French sophistication, trendiness and the French way of life. The Germans can't do this and we'll see some concept cars that will back this up."

DS brand boss Yves Bonnefort has already admitted that the company will expand from three to six models in the coming few years, including a luxury saloon for China, the DS9, an SUV and, possibly a Fiat 500 rival for Europe.

At next month's Paris motor show it will unveil the Devine DS show car, previewing a new look. Tavares, however, is keen to stress that the brand won't be looking for Audi-style sales volumes.

"We have to be patient about sales and I don't want to measure success in this way. We'll measure it in per unit profit and making huge margins. This is a long run 20 to 30 year story," he said.

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Add a comment…
Norma Smellons 15 September 2014

@pauld101

"Generality" implies the possibility of exceptions which, like yours, do not detract from the underlying rule. I note your account involves the most expensive cars money can buy; whenever this technology is applied to the mass market it usually bankrupts its maker.
Norma Smellons 13 September 2014

@Mini2

The press weren't remotely culpable for the demise of pneumatic suspension. In fact, most of the press greeted such systems with enthusiasm, no doubt a product of never having to fix or service it using their own money. These systems were costly, complex and generally unreliable. They were made obsolete by advances in conventional systems, except in the most expensive limos where they continue to melt wallets on a regular basis to this day.
pauld101 15 September 2014

Another fact based opinion...?

Norma Smellons wrote:

The press weren't remotely culpable for the demise of pneumatic suspension. In fact, most of the press greeted such systems with enthusiasm, no doubt a product of never having to fix or service it using their own money. These systems were costly, complex and generally unreliable. They were made obsolete by advances in conventional systems, except in the most expensive limos where they continue to melt wallets on a regular basis to this day.

Norma, I personally drove many, many tens of thousands of miles in Rolls-Royce Spirits, Spurs, Turbo R's, Continental R's and Azures during the period 1987 - 1998 (as they came along). During this time my wallet remained completely un-melted and I suffered not a single suspension-related issue. Could you detail why you believe them to be 'generally unreliable'?

Mini2 13 September 2014

Brave, but too soon?

This comes across as a brave move but for me, taking the Citroen name away might be a step too far. Despite what people may say, the public do have a confidence in Citroen, and I don't think DS is a known-enough brand to be sold alone just yet. They talk about sharing dealerships; if they are aspiring to be like Audi, then Citroen UK seriously need to get themselves into gear and sort out their dealerships, which are by no means uninviting or dirty, but most are small and cramped. In France, they have the standalone DS areas as concessions in the larger Citroen showrooms, giving off a boutique-like presence. They need to develop that over here if they are to succeed. I drive a DS3 but from what we've seen from this Devine DS concept car, I'm not too keen on the direction they're taking the cars in, and they could end up on the wrong side of 'brash' if they aren't careful. The DS4 isn't a strong enough product in my opinion, and whilst I think the DS5 is fantastic, they do need to sort out the ride quality.
As for the rest of Citroen's range, it isn't exactly the strongest. The C4 Cactus is certainly a good sign of their future direction, but the current C3, C4 and C5 are all trailing the competition by some margin. People bemoan the lack of hydro suspension in today's cars, but if people had bought those while they had the chance and the press hadn't complained about 'floaty handling', then maybe Citroen would have had more confidence to continue down that route. The C1 will no doubt continue to sell well (as does the C3), but I think they need to plough more energy into the C-line of cars if they're to freeze DS off from it any time soon. It took time for Lexus to properly establish themselves, and I'm not convinced that the whole 'Infiniti' thing has worked, judging by how few I see both on the roads and in terms of Infiniti dealerships.

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