French luxury brand DS is aiming to have 160 independent stores opened worldwide by 2020, as it seeks to expand its foothold in the premium luxury segment.
Speaking exclusively to CarAdvice at the Frankfurt motorshow today, DS CEO Yves Bonnefont confirmed the organisation’s plan for an international roll out.
“We have a strategy that is based on the 200 mega cities in the world” Bonnefont told CarAdvice.
“We have listed the 200 largest and fastest growing cities in the world. We want to occupy this space with DS stores because we see that it’s where our growing customer base is and so it’s important to role out the brand in those 200 mega cities, that’s our number one priority.”
So far, DS has 11 independent stores in Europe and plenty of ‘DS Salons’ in Citroen dealerships, as is the case in Australia.
“DS, historically, was sold in Citroen dealerships, but we are creating a retail experience for our customers, combining a number of DS stores which are independent stores, with DS Salons, which are spaces inside of Citroen dealerships with a special DS experience.”
The timeline will see DS open its first 160 stores by 2020, which may include Sydney if not Melbourne and Brisbane as well.
The decision on that depends on Peugeot Citroen’s Australian distributor Sime Darby, which may first seek to raise sales volume in Peugeot and Citroen before committing further to DS.
“We have a timeline to occupy at least 160 of them before 2020, so in four years times. The remaining 40 are based in North American or India. Australia is included. We are today, present in Australia, not very strong but are present. There are some of those 200 cities in Australia, yes.”
DS currently makes up just five percent of the Peugeot Citroen groups sales, a figure Bonnefont says can double if not triple once DS really gets going.
“When you look at the global premium market in the world, it’s 15 percent of the total market in terms of volume, so in the mid term it should represent 10-15 percent of the group, today we are more at five percent, so we have a lot of potential to grow.”
DS will launch its first fully independent vehicle by 2018 as it seeks to take its offerings more premium.