Australians will miss out on the opportunity to drive exciting and stylish new models from Citroen’s DS luxury brand, including those unveiled at the recent Paris motor show.
At Paris, DS took the covers off electrified versions of its DS 7 Crossback and DS 3 Crossback, a pair of crossovers with edgy styling and the practicality and versatility of a high-riding wagon body. With the arrival of the E-Tense petrol-electric hybrid powertrain option in the DS 7 and a fully-electric driveline in the DS 3 (with 300km of real-world range), the DS brand no longer just trades on the French panache of its design, it takes up a position of technological leadership in PSA Group, which owns Peugeot and Citroen as well as DS.
However, its luxury positioning and limited appeal counts against the DS brand here in Australia. Re-introducing DS to our market is a very low priority at the moment, says Citroen’s Australian spokesperson Tyson Bowen.
“DS is not a focus for us right now,” Bowen told WhichCar.com.au. “The focus is ensuring we manage the process of building a stronger Peugeot and Citroen. There are no immediate plans for DS right now. In the longer term, we remain open to any opportunities that present themselves.”
“Once Peugeot and Citroen are set and humming we can leverage further. Without those two core brands humming, it makes no sense to add a third brand into the mix.”
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There are other obstacles holding DS back from Australia, says Bowen. Pressure on wage growth was cited as one, given its dampening effect on the migration of buyers from mainstream to premium brands, while the extra cost of establishing and marketing a completely new nameplate is another.
“Our product renaissance with SUV and 508 has come at the right time for us. The focus on getting those two right is key right now,” Bowen said.
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“Beyond that, if there are opportunities in the prestige segment, they'd have to be evaluated in a holistic way. We'd have to re-establish dealers and a team to launch the brand. There's a whole range of broader issues we'd need to look at.”
That being said, Bowen indicated that there were no issues with the type of product being offered under the DS name – if anything’s holding the brand back from Australian roads, it’s not the cars themselves.
“The DS product is great though”, Bowen continued, “and the new generation of metal coming through fulfils the DS promise.”