|Premium brand of Groupe PSA|
|Founded||2009: as a premium sub brand of Citroën|
2014: as a standalone brand of Groupe PSA
|Worldwide, except United States, Canada, Mexico, and South Asia|
|Yves Bonnefont, CEO|
DS is the premium automobile marque of Groupe PSA. The DS was first announced in the beginning of 2009 by Citroën as a premium sub brand added to its certain models, with DS being an abbreviation of Different Spirit or Distinctive Series (although the reference to the historical Citroën DS is evident), in order to run in parallel to its mainstream cars. The name is also a play on words, as in French it is pronounced like the word déesse, meaning goddess.
PSA originally consisted of three automobile brands, Peugeot, Citroën, and the soon dropped Talbot, but none was a premium brand. Since 1976, PSA has experimented with differentiating the brands by price level, similar to Chevrolet/Buick or Volkswagen/Audi. But, neither brand had the strength to obtain Premium pricing. Eventually, the concept of introducing a third brand was tried: DS. This had been done successfully by other manufacturers, notably the Lexus and Infiniti premium brands.
The original Citroën DS (1955 to 1975) is an iconic design, so it was decided to build on that heritage. The DS line started with the Citroën DS3 in the beginning of 2010, a small car based on the floorpan of the new C3. The DS3 is based on the concept of the Citroën C3 Pluriel model and the Citroën DS Inside concept car, and customisable with various roof colours that can contrast with the body panels.
It was named 2010 Car of the Year by Top Gear Magazine, awarded first supermini four times in a row by the JD Power Satisfaction Survey UK and second most efficient supermini (Citroën DS3 1.6 e-HDi 115 Airdream : True MPG 63.0mpg) by What Car? behind the Citroën C3.
In 2013, the Citroën DS3 was again the most sold premium subcompact car with 40% of these market shares in Europe, validating the business model of this product development. The DS series is deeply connected to Citroën, as the DS4, launched in 2010, is based on the 2008 Citroën Hypnos concept car and the DS5, following in 2011, is based on the 2005 Citroën C-SportLounge concept car.
According to PSA CEO Carlos Tavares, DS will keep using the same platforms and dealerships as other PSA models, but will distinguish itself from Citroën cars by using "separate manufacturing and engineering standards".
Their rear badge is a new DS logo rather than the familiar Citroën double chevron, and all will have markedly different styling from their equivalent sister car. Citroën has produced several dramatic-looking concept sports cars of late with the fully working Citroën Survolt being badged as a DS. Indeed, the 2014 DS Divine concept car develops the Survolt prototype as the future sport coupé of the DS range.
In China, DS vehicles have been sold in separate dealerships since 2014. DS models for sale in China are produced by the Changan PSA joint venture based in Shenzhen. The DS 5LS and DS 6WR are only sold in China. With the facelift of the DS5 in 2015, the DS brand was also separated from the Citroën brand in Europe and standalone DS dealerships are planned worldwide.
|DS 3||DS 3 Crossback||DS 4||DS 4S||DS 5||DS 5LS||DS 6||DS 7 Crossback|
DS partnered with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Racing team for the second season of the FIA Formula E Championship. The team competed under the title of DS Virgin Racing, finished the 2015-16 season in third place, and fourth in the 2016-17 season. For the 2018-19 season, DS moved to sponsor Techeetah, ending its relationship with Virgin.
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