DS aims high

DS 5
The updated DS5 will be the first car launched under the new brand's banner

DS, the newest Citroen/Peugeot brand, is planning to double its range in the next five years, according to the head of products and business development

DS, the newest stand-alone brand from the French group PSA Peugeot Citroën, will produce six entirely new models within the next five years, according to Eric Apode, DS Automobiles vice president of products, business development and profitability.

“We will have six new cars, all on sale between 2018 and 2020,” he said. “That’s two cars a year, doubling the range. Carlos Tavares [PSA’s chairman] is really pushing us to do this.”

Apode said that three of the new cars will be replacements for the current DS3, DS4 and DS5 models, with other cars slotted in between and above. These seem likely to be an SUV, which will be an updated version of the current China-only DS6 model, plus another, smaller SUV and possibly a large saloon for China which is DS’s biggest market – France is second and the UK is third.

“The DS3 will be our smallest car,” said Apode, “but we aren’t in the business of copying; we will seek to differentiate between segments and create our own story.”

Pushed to identify the key qualities of the new DS brand, Apode said it is in proportions, materials, comfort and technology. “We want to play with dimensions,” he added.

He said the design-led car maker will keep the low and wide rear bodywork of its current designs, and that forthcoming models will have interiors adorned with unusual materials such as stone and crystal.

“We want to be amazing,” he said. “We must be good-looking and I want to insist on a lot of things because we are French and we will be bold and optimistic.”

While Apode discounted any return to the old DS hydropneumatic suspension system, he said that future DS models will be “a leader in comfort” by combining electronics with the suspension. He said that the DS brand could be a technology leader for the PSA Group in future, but is wary of overloading the cars.

“We want to be competitive in technology,” he said, “but not at any price, or with everything – we don’t want gadgets that might be used once in the life of the car.”

“We are not playing anymore,” he continued. “This is a big strategy. We have been emboldened by the willingness of the Group.”

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