The recently revealed car will take on the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series when it goes on sale in 2021, and Foucher said it was vital for the growing DS marque to offer a car in the executive saloon segment.
DS was created as a spin-off company from fellow PSA firm Citroën, with the intention of creating a French brand to take on the upmarket premium market dominated by German firms such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The firm is steadily building a bespoke range of machines, such as the 3 Crossback hatch and the 7 Crossback SUV. The 9 saloon will be the next bespoke model to launch, and will be particularly vital in helping build the brand in China, where premium saloons are hugely popular.
“The DS 9 is a big saloon, and exhibits all the technology and powertrains from the PSA Group, and some technology exclusive to DS,” said Foucher. “The segment share of this type of car remains high, representing around 25% of cars sold in the large premium car market in Europe. It's still a really important segment.
“Having this type of car that embraces technology and has power, control and elegance is the real sign of a premium brand, and it has been acknowledged as a very elegant car based on early feedback. To be recognised as a premium brand you absolutely have to have a premium saloon in your line-up. The best way to provide comfort is to encourage people to drive or be driven in a saloon.
"Our customers still want to drive, and they want to drive this type of car."
The DS range will eventually grow to six models, and the DS 9 saloon is set to be followed by a DS 4 mid-size SUV.