At the start of the month, PSA’s plan to transform its DS upscale line of models into a separate brand took hold, as the first CEO of the division was named – Yves Bonnefont.
After making history June 1st when he became the first boss of PSA Peugeot Citroen’s new premium brand, he needs to make history again with his actions at the newly established stand-alone division. His task – to take a successful, but miniscule Citroen division into a truly global brand, and all the way not lose profitability in search of the better sales.
Bonnefont is PSA’s former director of group strategy and he joined the ailing automaker back in 2012 coming from within the management consulting business. His task is one that would require significant abilities, as the brand is already stand-alone in China, but in Europe is closely tied to Citroen – with only one independent venue – DS World in Paris – and the rest taking advantage of Citroen’s huge sales network.
“We have three formats for the DS line at Citroen dealerships in Europe: the DS Zone, DS Salon and DS Store. Our No. 1 objective is to develop the DS Salon in Europe, from the current 12 to 40 DS Salons in Europe by the end of 2014,” he says. We will rely on DS Salons for the next five years, and I am looking at the world by cities. We have found that a lot of the growth in the premium market is happening in a relatively limited number of cities.”
As far as the growth strategy is concerned, the new CEO says that of the 500 cities in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States the company has identified as seeing the most of the premium segment increases, the DS brand aims to be present in the near future in 200 – with dedicated dealerships – ensuring a brand image boost.
Via Automotive News Europe