PSA targeting 10 percent of China’s luxury car market with the Citroen’s DS brand image

PSA Peugeot Citroen is wants to gain 10 percent of China’s luxury vehicle sales by promoting the Citroen DS brand to people in fashion and design.

The French automaker targets sales of 200,000 DS vehicles in four years, after 3,500 deliveries in 2013, according to Arnaud Ribault, DS China’s general manager.

Citroen started manufacturing DS vehicles in China in September last year. By comparison, Mercedes-Benz took five years to reach the same level of sales after starting local production.

“We have a lot of designers, people working in fashion as customers. Someone who is buying an Audi A6, I think will never buy a DS5,” Ribault said in an interview this week at the brand’s main Shanghai showroom.

PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to double its number of DS dealerships in China to 100 by the end of this year. The carmaker wants to turn DS into a full-fledged brand that could help its return to profitability and compete with market leaders including Audi and BMW. However, PSA’s new CEO Carlos Tavares said it may take two decades before DS is ready to take on the German premium brands.

PSA will start sales of the Citroen DS 5LS compact sedan in Beijing on March 28, the second model produced in China, with an SUV being planned for sale in the fourth quarter of this year. The DS 5LS has a starting pre-launch price of 149,900 yuan ($24,170) in China, while the Audi A3 sedan begins at 199,900 yuan ($32,233).

– images showing the new CITROËN DS 5LS unveiled during the 2014 Geneva Motor Show

– more live images from Geneva with the new Citroen DS