PSA sees DS brand just as successful as Audi was for VW image

PSA Peugeot Citroen decided to morph its DS upscale models to a full-fledged luxury brand not long ago and the ambitions are already very high: it should represent for the French what Audi was to the Volkswagen Group.

The upscale DS brand is starting small though – it only sold 118, 472 units in 2014, representing around 4 percent of the total deliveries for the company. But chief executive officer Yves Bonnefont has big plans – he wants to up the yield to account for 10 percent to 15 percent of PSA’s annual volumes. The executive started leading the freshly independent unit since last June and has immediately paced his efforts to fulfill an ambitious goal. Reaching around 15 percent of the Group’s total with the DS brand would put it roughly in the same proportion with Audi’s sales within the Volkswagen Group (the latter did have an edge, accounting for 17% of group sales last year). Naturally, the CEO refrained from advancing figures, since the comparison would be a little off the mark – VW AG is the world’s second-largest automaker today, with volumes of more than 10 million units annually.

The brand wants to achieve the targets by expanding outside Europe – where it had 73 percent of sales last year (down from 85% in 2013) and the CEO believes it’s only a matter of time before China takes over from France as the brand’s single largest market. Additionally, they plan to implement 30 of the planned DS Stores in North America – with the US also targeted, especially since the latter is still the planet’s biggest market for luxury autos.

Via Automotive News Europe