DS’ standalone brand off to a slow start image

Citroen’s premium line-up of DS models had dwindling sales during the first six months of the year, even as it moved to become a separate brand since June 1.

The upscale line-up of models was hit by aging products and by stiffer competition as rivals – like the Mini brand – presented refreshed models. Through last month, worldwide sales of the DS models were down 10% to 63,789 units. The sharpest drop was in the core European region, where sales fell 21% to 50,056 cars. China was a bright spot for the upcoming standalone brand, as volume rose massively from last year’s modest base of 957 vehicles to 10,482 autos.

“The lynchpin DS 3 is five years old now and is a very familiar sight,” said IHS Automotive analyst Ian Fletcher. “It is facing vehicles that are benefiting from updates, such as the refreshed Mini, or are being heavily pushed by rivals, such as the new version of the Fiat 500.”

“The new CEO could help if he understands that the success of DS will come if the premium mentality is applied on DS,” added Jamel Taganza from analyst firm Inovev. “It means, in addition to becoming a standalone brand, that DS must also have an independent technical center, for example.”

The DS line was launched by PSA back in 2010 and expanded from the initial DS3 and DS3 cabrio offerings to have the DS 4, DS 5 and DS 5LS compacts. The brand will now add a China-specific 6WR SUV, officially presented during April’s Beijing auto show.

Via Automotive News Europe