Currently reading: Citroen's DS brand to expand from three to six models
French manufacturer plots premium SUVs, saloons and hatchbacks as part of ambitious DS growth plan

Yves Bonnefont, chief executive of Citroën's DS brand, has said that the brand will eventually feature six models, a doubling of the three currently offered in Europe.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Divine DS at PSA’s design studio in Paris, Bonnefont said: "We created the DS brand in June. Our ambition is to generate growth by developing the product range – in the mid-term to have six models – which will be the same in all regions."

That’s in contrast to today’s global DS line-up, which includes three models specific to China, an SUV among them. The eventual aim is to offer identical models globally.

Bonnfont did not reveal what the six models would be, but another source suggested that they would include a large and a small SUV, a large and a small saloon car, a replacement for the DS3 hatchback and a new C-segment model that could effectively replace today’s DS 4 and DS5.

That the Divine DS is a stylish, premium C-segment hatchback may be significant, although its creators says that it does not hint at a specific model.

Bonnefont also revealed the key attributes of the DS brand, which include "avant-garde design – this is very strong, visible technology that buyers are proud to own, and refinement".

When asked about the brand’s dynamic character, Bonnefont cited "the balance between comfort and dynamism – we want to be a reference in the market for this".

He said that he "could not disclose" whether Hydractive fluid suspension might be used, but added that "the field of comfort is part of the DS DNA and very important".

DS also plans to harness "the know-how of the French luxury houses" to develop the brand’s premium positioning, said Bonnefont.

They are working with Swarovski to develop production-applicable décor, the jewellery and fashion house contributing to the Divine DS concept, while embroidery company Maison Lasage has worked for the first time on an automotive project with the DS Divine.

Asked whether the DS brand would get its own technical centre within the PSA group, Bonnefont said that: "several brands can share the know-how of the group. But we have a dedicated DS product team defining what the car should be, and also a dedicated testing team.

"So at the beginning and the end of the process there are dedicated teams. There are about 50 people and we call them the Commando group".

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The DS 4 is a high-riding hatchback, but for all its maker's claims to the contrary, its too much like the standard C4

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concinnity 6 September 2014

Citroen's decline

Well said russ13b. Has everyone forgotten that a variant of this suspension was banned in world rallying with Citroen using it and winning too often with it, and that Mclaren Cars, a small company some readers may have heard of, currently uses it to achieve "unmatched" ride and handling in all their road cars? And that previously the only other marques to feature it were Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce and sister brand Peugeot? And Top Gear thinks highly of it.
And yet the idiots in charge at Citroen want to give up this unique marketing point which would sell cars for them even if the suspension worked no better than normal, except it does work better as Mclaren and the WRC show.
And it did work in the original DS, and was the main thing that marked that car as different- and uniquely Citroen. Not the funny grille, or chrome flourishes, or 'market positioning' And wouldn't a good ride be a nice selling point in their biggest market, China with it's myriad poor roads and chauffeur drivers?
Is the DS brand to stand for less than it could, or should? Is this what the engineering and styling innovators that framed and defined the current brand deserve as a legacy? Is this what the reputation of France, itself deserves? A thin surface layer of image wrapped over mediocre mechanicals like a '70s Datsun or a fake Louis Vuitton purse? Is this lazy lie what Citroen is reduced too? Is this what their customers deserve and pay for? We deserve more. We deserve what Citroen is capable of, not what they can get away with.
russ13b 5 September 2014

seriously... what?!

i find it difficult to believe that people who are supposedly car enthusiasts are saying citroen should scrap the hydraulics, or that they're pointless.

hydropneumatic and hydractive were losing the ride quality as people kept complaining about it not being "sporty" or similar, and buying something else. citroen made it gradually stiffer as you were complaining.

do you really, honestly, believe they would find it THAT had to make a new magic carpet?

the claim that it can't handle properly is only made by those who have either never heard of, been in, or owned, an activa. or, to be frank, driven a non-activa properly. if you find that "it just rolls and understeers", you are driving it incorrectly.

conventional cars may have come on a long way recently, but they still catch speed bumps if there's something in the boot.

what are you going to be saying next? that you'll be glad when alfa stop making V6s?!

having said all of this, look at how many of them you see around. most people don't know what a proper citroen is like, and would probably find one really weird as all their experience of cars has been skateboards with solid seats.

if i were running the show they'd all be activas.

bomb 5 September 2014

DS3 ride

As much I enjoyed our now departed DS3, one thing it didn't have was a good ride. Was that important to me at the time? No. But seeing what can achieved from a more overtly sporting set-up in our new car, which trounces the ride in the Citroen, makes me think the budget ran out after the styling. Citroen need to rediscover ride comfort to go with niche styling of the DS range to have ensure lasting market share.