When it was first announced that Citroen and its increasingly popular DS brand would go their separate ways back in 2014, it is fair to say that a few customers were left scratching their heads. After all, it is unusual for a parent company to sever ties with one of its brands, particularly one that has enjoyed genuine commercial success among consumers.
If you delve beneath the headline news, however, there are several good reasons for these two brands becoming separate entities. It is also important to note that the impact of the split is likely to deliver long-term benefits for all parties involved, from the manufacturers and dealerships to Citroen’s army of loyal customers.
What is the Nature of the Split and Why Will it be Beneficial?
The term ‘split’ here is probably a little misleading, but there is no doubt that Citroen and DS are now entirely separate brands. All European-market DS models are now manufactured and sold without any Citroen badging, for example, while they are also produced according to a new and exciting set of brand guidelines and design principles.
Despite this, established and specialist dealers like Robins & Day will continue to sell both Citroen and DS models in the future, meaning that their turnover will not be adversely impacted by the decision in the longer-term. Customers will also continue to have access to both ranges, enabling them to make a preferred and informed decision in the process.
The nature of this separation affords us an insight into the intentions of the Citroen brand, who simply want to create a distinction between its premium and affordable model. While the established Citroen brand will continue to fly the flag for affordability and practicality, for example, the DS range will build on its burgeoning reputation for enhanced styling, advanced technology and superior, luxury interiors.
The Last Word
The separation of the Citroen and DS brands is nothing new, as this is an arrangement that has already thrived successfully in the Asian market. In fact, its success has encouraged the distinction to be made in Europe, where both Citroen and DS models achieve some of their highest sales figures.
The move also makes perfect sense from a brand perspective, as Citroen’s persistence in selling both practical and premium models under the same banner sent confused messaging to customers across the globe. Now, there is a clear and logical distinction between Citroen’s functional cars and DS’ premium alternatives, which allows each brand to deliver a clear message and achieve its full potential in the future.
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