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DS and Citroen to split: report

A certain je ne sais quoi: the DS 6WR was unveiled at the Beijing motor show in April becoming the first SUV to enter the Chinese market for DS.

Audi on notice as PSA boss says DS will leave Citroen and take aim at the Germans

Citroen logo15 Sep 2014

CITROEN and its premium DS line will split into two separate brands as the car-maker gears up to steal Audi’s sales using French flair, PSA chairman Carlos Tavares told British publication Autocar.

Technology will still be shared between the two brands, along with the dealer network supporting sales and service, however, the level of refinement and engineering will be far higher in DS vehicles according to Mr Tavares.

“From 2015 DS will be disconnected from Citroen,” he said in the interview.

“We don't need to have separate platforms, or even separate dealers, but we will have separate manufacturing and engineering standards.

The plan is to go after buyers drawn to the quality Audi vehicles offer, but Mr Tavares said DS will add a unique French twist to the deal that the German car-maker cannot deliver.

“DS can be an Audi rival by 2020. The products in the pipeline are extremely exciting but we are not just going into premium as we're not going to be fighting the Germans with the same weapons.

“We want to convey a French sophistication, trendiness and the French way of life. The Germans can't do this and we'll see some concept cars that will back this up.”

The frank words from the Portuguese-born PSA boss come less than two weeks after the striking Divine DS concept was revealed ahead of its Paris motor show debut next month, signaling the beginning of the separate brand in Europe.

Earlier this year Mr Tavares outlined his plans for PSA in his ‘Back in the Race’ announcement in which he stated the development of DS as a stand-alone high-end brand would be stepped up.

In China DS has already started operating as its own entity with three vehicles currently on sale and 100 dealerships projected to be up and running by 2015.

The DS 6WR made its debut at the Beijing motor show in April and became the first SUV from the brand to enter the Chinese market.

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