DS Automobiles is the posh division of Peugeot Citroen, which has grown out of the Citroen DS range of cars. The French firm believes DS can be its answer to Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and as part of this upbranding, it’s getting its own dealer network.
From 1 July 2018, every DS dealer in the UK will be a solus operation, rather than one sharing showroom space (and customers) with Citroen. At launch, there will be 25 outlets, with the firm planning to double it by the end of 2018, and expand further into 2019.
There will be two types of DS dealer – a DS Store and DS Salon. Each will give a bespoke service, and all will be situated in “prominent locations”.
For Citroen dealers, 1 July marks the cut-off point when they can no longer trade with DS customers. A few of them have, however, invested in creating a DS Store or DS Salon, and so have secured a DS franchise contract.
What’s the difference between the DS dealers? They’re defined thus:
- DS Salon: the smaller of the two, these can be incorporated into Citroen dealer buildings, but most have bespoke DS flooring, ceiling, walls, sales desk and customer reception. There must be a DS totem outside, and have at least three DS cars in the showroom, with more available for demonstration drives.
- DS Store: a bigger retail-style outlet, which the firm calls a “luxury boutique”. Everything will be bespoke to DS: the colours, furniture, lighting, mood music, even a DS essence fragrance. Five cars will be on display, there’ll be a DS virtual configuration screen (with HTC headset), bespoke customer car park and even a merchandise shop. Oh, and Nespresso machines.
The firm is basically promising a “French boutique hotel” experience to customers, what will be high end, bespoke and engaging. It will be “highly qualitative” and customer service will be “high end” as well.
Lucky dealers even get to spend some time training at the DS design centre and have “an immersion in Paris luxury sales”. Best leave the credit card at home.
Fancy seeing what it’s like, sitting on a fancy DS sofa while looking at a new DS7 Crossback and breathing in the rich new DS aroma while enjoying your Nespresso? The firm’s updated its dealer locator so you can find one near you.