An embodiment of French-style avant-garde, elegance and know-how, the DS premium car brand, launched in 2015, perpetuates the values of innovation and distinction inherited from the 1955 DS

Launched officially at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015, the DS brand combines heritage and avant-garde, technology and refinement, and remarkable design and peerless ride comfort. DS revealed its “Spirit of Avant-Garde” baseline at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015.

DS is a separate marque from Citroen. By 2020, the bosses say, this will be a thriving third brand under the PSA umbrella – Peugeot, Citroen and DS. And there will be six DS models lines on sale.

Why bother? Because around half of all the profit of the whole global car industry these days is made by the premium brands. Five years ago Citroen launched the DS3, a cleverly but inexpensively jollied up version of the C3 supermini. It sold better than they’d expected. So, almost by chance, PSA realised it might be able to get a slice of those very tasty premium profits.

But a premium brand has to be consistently premium. So it became clear DS could really fly only if moved clear of the mass-market Citroen.

The 2015 Models:
So, partway through its life, the Citroen DS5 has been face-lifted and re-named DS5 with the DS Brand logo. The current DS4 and DS3 will soon get the same treatment. No more Citroen badges on the DS’s.

But three cars isn’t enough. In China, DS also has three, but a different three. There’s the same DS 5, but also the DS 5LS saloon, and the DS 6 crossover.The DS name is new there, but the initial signs are promising. Sales have started well, and Chinese buyers like European luxury names, especially French ones: Louis Vuitton, Chanel, etc.

Unfortunately the 5LS and 6 are built on obsolescent platforms and wouldn’t be suitable for global duty. So none of the present European or Chinese range will make up part of the promised global line-up for the end of 2020. They really will be all-new!

Do they have a chance? The company’s bosses say it will be a 15-year haul to get DS established as a proper premium player, pointing out it took Audi at least that long. “Fifteen years is only two generations of cars,” says DS sales and marketing chief Arnaud Ribault.

“We are looking at the world premium market. The most important parts are SUVs and sedans in the B, C and D segments,” Ribault says. In industry jargon, B is supermini size, C is mid-size hatch and D is Mondeo size. Car development chief, Eric Apode, later confirms to me that two of the six will be SUV crossovers. He says the new cars will start launching at the rate of two a year from 2018.

Apode says that the cars won’t match exactly the sizes and silhouettes of their German competitors, just as they don’t now. Look at the DS 5 as an example. It isn’t a normal hatch or estate, as it’s taller and not optimised for space, but it isn’t an MPV or SUV either. Same with the DS4, which is taller than a hatch but has a coupe-ish roof, yet has five doors. Sure, the DS4 hasn’t stormed the market, but no harm in trying eh?

The 2016 Models
In 2016 the DS brand Product line-up was entirely renewed with a view to conquering new markets.

DS 5: the flagship of the DS brand

With its remarkable styling and all-new technologies, DS 5 embodies the finest in DS know-how. The DS Wings grille lends the model a refined and bold body style, while the innovative cockpit inspired by the world of aviation promises a unique sensory experience at the wheel.