Frankfurt exclusive: no sales projections for Citroen’s DS brand

DS4 1

DS Automobile’s marketing chief has told Motoring Research that it has no sales projections as a brand.

Interviewed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, VP global sales and marketing Arnaud Ribault told us that DS is concentrating on selling itself a premium player rather than outright sales.

Ribault said: “At the moment, I have no sales projection figures I can give you. It’s about doing our own thing and introducing DS as a brand rather than chasing sales.”

DS officially separated itself as a brand from Citroen earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. But rather than being a French equivalent to the premium German manufacturers, Ribault insists it’s doing things differently.

“We are more of a luxury brand. The Germans are very good at what they do – we can’t compete directly with them. We provide luxury in a different way.”

In pride of place on the DS stand at Frankfurt is the facelifted DS4 along with a DS4 Crossback.

The latter is very similar on the model on which it’s based, but with added ground clearance hinting at crossover aspirations. But Ribault told us it definitely isn’t taking on the Nissan Qashqai.

He said: “The DS 4 Crossback is its own thing, it doesn’t have any clear rivals. If we had to pick a car, however, it would probably be the Volvo V40 Cross Country.

“It’s not a rival to the Qashqai. The Qashqai is more of an SUV than the Crossback.”

DS says it plans to be fully established as a brand of its own within 15 years, with six new models due by 2020.

When asked whether the DS4 Crossback previews future crossover and SUV models, Ribault hinted “that would be a wise observation”.

Previously, VP products and business development for DS, Eric Apode, told us sales of the DS4 have been disappointing in the UK, and suggested an SUV could be a good move for the brand.

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