PSA’s premium brand clears space for new compact models including all-electric version of upcoming 3 Crossback

DS has ended production of its slow-selling 4 and 5 hatchbacks as part of an aggressive product plan designed to turn around shrinking global sales.

The PSA Group premium brand is now only selling what a spokesman described as an “extensive supply” of existing stocks for the 4 and 5, both of which have suffered from dwindling sales and contributed to the company’s 38.5% sales decline in 2017.

Last year, DS sold just 11,746 units of the 4; this was 170,431 units short of the class’s top seller, the Volkswagen Golf, although the 4 (pictured top) did beat the arguably more comparable Lexus CT 200 and its 8419 sales last year. The 5 (pictured below), however, fared among the very worst in its segment, with just 5738 European sales across the 12 months.

The DS spokesman told Autocar that these results were not the main motivator for ending production but that the line-up changes are part of a “new product phase” that has been in motion since the arrival last year of the 7 Crossback, the brand’s current flagship.

“It was always planned that DS 4 and DS 5 production would end in 2018 as part of this new plan,” the spokesman said. “This plan will also see the reveal of a new all-electric compact model at the Paris motor show that will get our electrification plans going.”

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Although the spokesman would not confirm the name of the compact EV, Autocar understands that it will be a pure-electric version of the upcoming 3 Crossback. The EV is due on roads after DS’s first electrified model, the already revealed (and tested in prototype form) 7 E-Tense plug-in hybrid, which is due out early next year. The spokesman said these electrified cars would “complement their ranges” rather than arrive as standalone models.

As part of the changes, DS will ditch diesel versions of its 3 range and offer only Puretech automatic versions. The move, which is partially influenced by the upcoming WLTP changes, will take place in the coming months as the brand's top-selling model and rival to the Ford Fiesta is due to enter the twilight stages of its production life. The void left by the eventually departed 3 will be indirectly filled by the 3 Crossback, which will slot into the compact crossover segment and go head to head with the Audi Q2. It is one of four new SUV models due in the coming years.

The marque is set to launch a saloon to sit above the 7 Crossback as its new flagship in 2020. That car will go up against the BMW 5 Series and could prove pivotal in DS’s growth ambitions for China, where the saloon body shape still sells in extremely large numbers.

DS’s line-up changes will be accompanied by heavy adjustments to the structure of its dealer network. Currently, the company has around 200 UK retailers that are twinned with its PSA sibling Citroën but, from July, DS will slim its outlets to 30 exclusive sites. These will eventually grow to an estimated 70 locations across Britain.

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Comments
23

29 May 2018

I'm not sure if the company will last that long, 30 exclusive UK DS sites will have the DS7 Crossback to sell and Automatic DS3's, they might sell on average a couple of cars a week, no dealship can survive on that!

And how did this happen, DS3 great car to begin with but left to languish, DS4 big design mistakes (I tested one) no wind down rear windows in a family hatchback and rear doors that put you in hospital with broken ribs.

May as well retreat to mainland Europe like Lancia

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

29 May 2018

Lancia hasn't retreated "to mainland Europe". It has retreated to Italy only and is not sold in any other European countries!

In addition, DS is pretty much as unpopular in the rest of Europe as here! 

29 May 2018

Good riddance to trash products. Why not just do what Renault does with some of their models and not bother with them here in the UK?

29 May 2018

this was the plan all along so no surprises. DS is starting to resemble Alfa from a few years back with a small uninspired range. Personally II think the DS5 was visually a success. It struggled in a segment where large French cars don’t do well.

The new C4 Cactus really replaces the DS4.

I don’t really get the brand and , in the UK  at least, it doesn’t come across as aspirational or prestige. 

29 May 2018

I'm really not that surprised apart from the DS 3 I've not seen very many of the other models of the range on the roads,it's a difficult task trying to make a "Premium" range of cars with what platforms and engines that PSA currently have. The perception of the range is that the cars are just rebodied Peugeot/Citroen products that do not have a distinct identity of their own, it takes a long time to establish a new model range in this segment in Europe as Nissan and Toyota have found out with Infiniti& Lexus. Perhaps it would be best for PSA to fold the DS cars back into the Citroen range,put the Double Cheverons on the grille rather than continue with the DS range as a separate marque.

29 May 2018
ianp55 wrote:

I'm really not that surprised apart from the DS 3 I've not seen very many of the other models of the range on the roads,it's a difficult task trying to make a "Premium" range of cars with what platforms and engines that PSA currently have. The perception of the range is that the cars are just rebodied Peugeot/Citroen products that do not have a distinct identity of their own, it takes a long time to establish a new model range in this segment in Europe as Nissan and Toyota have found out with Infiniti& Lexus. Perhaps it would be best for PSA to fold the DS cars back into the Citroen range,put the Double Cheverons on the grille rather than continue with the DS range as a separate marque.

 

To be honest they have done far better than Lexus/Infiniti at the time they started and we can only wish for them success if we are sincere enough. Remember also that Audi were very far off with a car with terrible dynamics, and that couldnt steer to save its own life, yet somewhat people were receptive enough. Or could it be that the country of origin factor made it more acceptable in people's perception? 

For one, Lexus sold rebadged (not even reskinned) versions of their Toyota models. The DS have clarified in their product brief that the 7 is not reskinned versions of their other models, rather built up from the ground as a luxury car. Strangly, this fact has not been mentioned in 7 reviews. 

I think for DS to succeed, there needs to be less hostility against French luxury automotive products coz the C6 was an excellent product judged both against rivals and on its own merit. 

29 May 2018

DS is one of the most short-sighted, ill-conceived ideas of grandeur ever. It took Lexus and Infiniti well over a decade to make a mark and be where they are now. PSA thought they could do that in a fraction of the time including using models that were once badged as a Citroen. If DS is still in the UK by end of 2020 I'll be amazed. 

29 May 2018
Roadster wrote:

DS is one of the most short-sighted, ill-conceived ideas of grandeur ever. It took Lexus and Infiniti well over a decade to make a mark and be where they are now. PSA thought they could do that in a fraction of the time including using models that were once badged as a Citroen. If DS is still in the UK by end of 2020 I'll be amazed. 

 

Lexus and Infinity have got nowhere in Europe so why on earth will DS? Best bet is to focus on China just like Lincoln and give up on European sales altogether except maybe in France....

DS was never a strong brand in the first place. If PSA want to do premium why not relaunch Sunbeam and build a couple of Porsche baiting Sportscars. Run that for a few years as a brand builder and launch a couple of SUVs. Basically be more Porsche like....

29 May 2018
Roadster wrote:

DS is one of the most short-sighted, ill-conceived ideas of grandeur ever. It took Lexus and Infiniti well over a decade to make a mark and be where they are now. PSA thought they could do that in a fraction of the time including using models that were once badged as a Citroen. If DS is still in the UK by end of 2020 I'll be amazed. 

 

Lexus and Infinity have got nowhere in Europe so why on earth will DS? Best bet is to focus on China just like Lincoln and give up on European sales altogether except maybe in France....

DS was never a strong brand in the first place. If PSA want to do premium why not relaunch Sunbeam and build a couple of Porsche baiting Sportscars. Run that for a few years as a brand builder and launch a couple of SUVs. Basically be more Porsche like....

29 May 2018
TStag wrote:

Roadster wrote:

DS is one of the most short-sighted, ill-conceived ideas of grandeur ever. It took Lexus and Infiniti well over a decade to make a mark and be where they are now. PSA thought they could do that in a fraction of the time including using models that were once badged as a Citroen. If DS is still in the UK by end of 2020 I'll be amazed. 

 

Lexus and Infinity have got nowhere in Europe so why on earth will DS? Best bet is to focus on China just like Lincoln and give up on European sales altogether except maybe in France....

DS was never a strong brand in the first place. If PSA want to do premium why not relaunch Sunbeam and build a couple of Porsche baiting Sportscars. Run that for a few years as a brand builder and launch a couple of SUVs. Basically be more Porsche like....

You've missed my point. Lexus and Infiniti may not sell in huge numbers in Europe but they are nonetheless, and are recognised as being, premium brands with a high quality image with products to match. No-one can say that something like the DS4 could ever be considered a premium car like the Lexus CT for example.

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