The split of Citroen and DS will only result in more clear and precise positioning of each brand, according to the company’s director of products, Xavier Peugeot.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the Frankfurt motor show yesterday, Xavier Peugeot, who is a member of the Peugeot family and the son of Pierre Peugeot – the man largely credited with the formation of the Peugeot Citroen group – said that fears of Citroen becoming a boring and dull brand, and DS taking all the glory, are unjustified.
“I think that it’s obvious that when there is such a change in the organisation with a big group like PSA (Peugeot Citroen), and when you create a brand from a line of products, obviously you can create some fears.” Peugeot said.
“Everybody expects DS to become even more attractive and sexy and all these positive things and then Citroen will collapse and become a nightmare with no content, boring car, with nothing attractive. I think it’s exactly the opposite.”
According to Peugeot, the split between Citroen and DS will allow each business to reinvent itself in a way that doesn’t compromise the other, a problem that had for long been an issue with Citroen DS.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to differentiate the three brands and to give to each of them a clear positioning," he said.
"DS will clearly focus on premium customers, the Peugeot process has already started, I would say, it’s between mainstream brand and premium brand and Citroen will be within the mainstream”
However, to suggest that Citroen will become a low cost mainstream player to not upset Peugeot’s positioning in the market would be incorrect.
“[We will not compete] with the low cost brands but with the mainstream and the strengths and the opportunity for the Citroen brand is to remain connected to its roots to its DNA, by bringing audacity, boldness and difference within a mainstream offer which is more or less the same whatever we manufacturer.
"This is the card we would like to play not only with small cars but with a wide range of products.”
Citroen is looking to have a solid range of seven vehicles in the coming years, while DS will produce its first ever standalone car by 2018, two years before it expects to open at least 160 individualised stores across the globe.