DS will have an all-new six-model line-up by 2020, including models that will be specific to China. Speaking at the recent ‘DS Week’ exhibition, celebrating 60 years since the launch of the original DS model in 1955, Ribault told Franjevci: “In the B, C and D-segments, the DS brand will concentrate on SUVs and sedans. These are the most important segments for us. We will also have an SUV model in Europe in the future.
“The DS 6 [a China-only SUV] was engineered specifically for the Chinese market and will only be offered with petrol engines and automatic transmissions. For European sales, we would also need diesel engines.”
This suggests that DS’s entry-level three-door hatchback could be replaced towards the end of the decade by a compact SUV, as could the larger DS 5. The other four DS models are likely to be saloons, but it is possible that not all six models will be sold in Europe. China is an especially important market for DS and it may demand at least one bespoke model.
In future, DS models will be tuned for “dynamic hyper- comfort”, something the brand describes as a “subtle balance between dynamic handling and extreme comfort”.
Ribault also hinted strongly that the successful World Rally Championship car might not remain as Citroën’s future WRC model. “We are thinking of a new kind of motorsport for the DS brand,” Ribault said. “The DS 3 WRC is very much a product of the Citroën world rally team, which is extremely experienced.”
Ribault openly admitted that it will probably take 15 years for DS to become established as a true premium brand, but he said it already enjoys the highest profitability per car within PSA.