A glimpse of the future for the DS brand

Automotive News Europe has reported that PSA have launched a China-only vehicle, their second. It is the DS6 crossover.

2014 DS6
2014 DS6

The appearance is generic SUV while the grille and lights show China´s DS styling. From there back, it´s file under “Forget”.For a brand allegedly majoring in style this is a major puzzle. For a firm as indifferent to the meaning of DS, this entirely to be expected. And we can see this as sign of the future developments for DS, along with the possibility of the brand having its own dealerships, as it does in China.

The DS6 is 4.5 metres long and has a 1-6 litre turbo diesel engine. I´d show you the rear of the car but there´s very little point. It is also metallic brown (not a bad colour and one showing clear signs of resurgence).

2013 DS5 LS Saloon
2013 DS5 LS Saloon

You can can compare the nasal treatment of the DS6 to the DS5 LS saloon here. I note the inane use of chrome around the upper part of the sideglass where it is least needed. The Peugeot 508 does this in certain trim variants; clearly chrome has gone post-modern. And then the chrome breaks free of its job protecting the edge of the body and flows pointlessly back to the boot. The interior is inoffensive but they didn´t know how to relate the centre vents to the rest as it seems to just end where it ran out of space. At least it´s not grey though doubtless grey is available.

And the rear. "I want to break free" - the chrome.
And the rear. “I want to break free” – the chrome.

This is quite a baffing exercise: to take a name associated with one of the most stylish and innovative cars ever to see the light of day and append it to characterless slabs of automotive stodge.

Finally, the nomenclature. If the brand is DS and the car is the DS5 LS then the full name of the car is either DS DS5LS or just the DS 5LS. Which is it? Both are deficient. Someone at PSA is still not thinking things through.

2013 DS5 LS interior
2013 DS5 LS interior

Incidentally, we spill a lot of virtual ink on bemoaning PSA here. And yet we pay scant attention to BMW or Audi. Why? Maybe it´s the bitter disappointment about brands we care about and which could and should amount to so much more.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

10 thoughts on “A glimpse of the future for the DS brand”

  1. A few years ago, when people on the website of The World’s Best Car Magazine were still doubting the importance of China both as a market and as a producer, I came across a website* showing Chinese vehicle manufacturers. It was a salutary indication of the future. Including motor bikes and vans there were pages and pages of different brands, most showing vehicles that looked a bit like something I’d seen before, but not quite. Some were a bit cack-handed, some seemed competent enough, but they were all completely unoriginal. This was excusable for an industry that was still in its early stages, and had stuff to learn. These DSs are just like those vehicles – but PSA have no such excuse. DS comes from a continent (and a company) with a long (and proud?) history of car production and it should be demonstrating this. The more I cast my mind back to the detail finish of my parent’s otherwise excellent 504, the more I realise quite how long Peugeot have been corner-cutting skinflints, shooting themselves in the foot on too many occasions. Their Chinese ‘strategy’ reflects their miserly attitude perfectly.

    *Here’s a simple list : http://chinaautoweb.com/chinese-brands/

    *And a more detailed one :

    http://www.made-in-china.com/productdirectory.do?action=hunt&code=2307000000&code4BrowerHistory=nLxRnxmJkQmE&order=0&style=b&page=1&memberLevel=&asFlag=&comProvince=nolimit&propertyValues=&from=hunt&word=cars&mode=and&comName=&comCode=&subCode=&size=30&viewType=1&toTradeMarkets=&sizeHasChanged=0&viewMoreOrLessClass=viewMore&isProdCom=&sgsBaseFlag=&catOhter=&sgsMembershipFlag=&minNumOrder=&comCity=nolimit

    1. Thanks for the links. I saw a BYD for the first time while out cycling on Sunday morning. 12th October 2014 – i thought I’d record the date of what could be a turning point for the UK market, though no one realises it yet.

  2. That interior looks like something from the early 90’s and like Sean said, there’s no excuse for PSA to come up with such dross just because it’s for the Chinese market only.

    1. I’m reminded of the sort of architecture that The West flogged 40 or more years ago to Middle East countries when their economies were emerging. The people involved just thought they didn’t need to try that hard, but such cynicism doesn’t build you a long-term market. I’d rather take that Multipla at $7,499.

  3. $7,499 is indeed a bargain for a New MPV Automobile. I wonder what an extra $1,000 gets you?

  4. Thanks for the comments.Yes, it really is stodge. It´s hard to imagine what sort of management let´s this happen. The car ought to be in some way very distinctive but it´s not; it´s a pebble on a beach, another Croma.

    1. What is it by the way? On the picture above it looks like a re-badged 2008.

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