Speaking to the media at the launch of the Citroen DS3 in Brisbane yesterday, the company’s head of marketing, Dimitri Andreatidis, said the separation of the two brands will happen, but not for the moment.
“In time with the support of PSA, we will also begin to transition DS to a standalone marque.” Andreatidis said.
“However this will be a considered plan and targeted approach and not at the expense of Citroen products. For now our focus is in insuring we get the products right for our Australian customers.”
The worldwide separation of Citroen and DS will see the Peugeot Citroen group position its brands in such a way that will have Citroen at the lower end, Peugeot in the middle and DS at the top, competing with the luxury German manufacturers.
Citroen Australia’s head of communications, Tyson Bowen, confessed that Citroen has a “long way to go” before it compete with its German rivals directly, but that the separation will eventually be necessary.
“The two brands can’t co-exist under the one [name] as they start to move away towards their own personalities.” Bowen said.
Shaun Mackle, Citroen Australia’s head of sales, admits that splitting the two brands will be a challenge in Australia given the company’s already small footprint.
“We have to do it sustainably and sensibly in the Australian market, I suppose halving a showroom and having one side DS and one side Citroen is potentially not ideal so we just have to be very, very measured in how we do it,” Mackle said.
Although the two brands have already been separated in markets like China, there’s no official due date for the DS separation from Citroen in Australia.
The new DS3 still wears the Citroen badge on the rear.