DS focuses on brand awareness and online salesAugust 28, 2020
The French premium brand is looking to solidify its position in the market ahead of two new flagship models. DS will focus on expanding its retail operations and building brand awareness, rather than “increasing volume” after sales were hit by Covid-19.
DS will be able to offer six vehicles by the end of 2021. The existing DS3 Crossback and DS7 Crossback crossovers, as well as their electric and plug-in hybrid E-Tense variants, will be joined by two new models: the DS9 sedan, which is positioned as “not a big car, but important to prove the company’s integrity” and a hatchback DS4, which DS has high hopes for.
According to Alain Descatte, Managing Director of DS UK, the UK is one of the most competitive markets in Europe for premium vehicles. DS registered only 1,146 vehicles there this year. This is less than 10% of the total number of Citroën, another PSA brand, and about 2% of Mercedes-Benz, although more than the competitor and future brother Alfa Romeo. At the same time, the market share of DS in France now exceeds 10%.
“Throughout the year since its inception, we have maintained our market share,” Descat said, admitting that since the beginning of the year, sales have fallen in line with market rates, down 45.4%. “Our market share is 0.14%, which makes us a small competitor. We know it will take time, maybe 20-30 years, to catch up with premium brands. We need to lower the threshold for customers to know who we are. We need to explain where we are from, and about the uniqueness of our offer, and explain our product. “
He also highlighted the positives: strong demand for electrified vehicles, which now account for more than a quarter of sales, and an impressive average CO2 emissions for the car fleet in the first quarter of 79.7 g / m.The closest competing brand is at 110 g / km.
DS’s immediate priority is to promote its online shopping platform, which will reportedly be ready “in a few weeks.” This will not happen at the expense of dealerships that grow and separate from Citroën outlets. According to Descat, “we want to make physical travel effective online travel with the help of retailers to deliver vehicles.”
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