Diamond Dog Remixed

Recently we had a bit of a discussion about the DS brand. I suggested the DS5 could do with being lower and having a different front fascia. 

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Squint and consider the roughly-made changes wrought on this image. It’s squashed by perhaps 7% and I deleted the busy stuff under the lamps. The foglamp moved rearwards. Out of curiosity I fixed the C-pillar. It’s crude work but gives at least a feel for what else this car might have been.

You’ll have to ignore the odd glitch in the A-pillar. That happened while I was compressing the image and I noticed it too late to change it.

DS – The Final Frontier (Revisited)

A lot can happen in two years, and since we’re examining the fortunes of PSA’s Distinctive Series, it might be useful to revisit this piece from Driven to Write’s early days to see what we thought then. 

Image via citroen.md
A study in pointlessness – the DS4. Image via citroen.md

Is Citroën’s ‘Distinctive Series’ the final frontier for the legendary French automaker? [First published 16 January 2014].

Lately, France’s PSA group became the automotive Blanche DuBois – lurching with mounting desperation from one apparent suitor to another following the collapse of their core market. Yet amidst the gloom, a hitherto unimaginable success story seems to have unfolded, involving the marque most analysts had written off as beyond saving. Could Citroën, PSA’s trouble child since 1976, belatedly, and against all odds, find itself at the forefront of a marketing coup?

Continue reading “DS – The Final Frontier (Revisited)”

Diamond Dogs – The Distinctive Series Dissected – Part two

Berstein Research’s Max Warburton recently made some stark observations on brand DS’ prospects which make sober reading for PSA chief, Carlos Tavares. But is he right?

The Divine DS concept at Chantilly Style et Luxe. Image via frenchisgood
The Divine DS concept at Chantilly Style et Luxe. Image via frenchisgood

“Ill-defined, low consumer recognition and highly unlikely to generate shareholder returns”. Not my words, but those of the European industry’s current economic sage. But is Max Warburton being fair? Lets look at the evidence. Take DS’ brand identity. Is it a Citroën, a non-Citroën or an anti-Citroën? Nobody seems to be sure. DS has no visibility in the marketplace – few outside the industry or its followers knows what it is, or what it’s for. The cars themselves offer little to distinguish themselves from cheaper Citroën derivatives, merely fussier styling and a thin veneer of luxury. Neither the DS4 or 5 can be accurately positioned within their segments, being neither fish nor fowl; the DS4 in particular a symphony in pointlessness. Continue reading “Diamond Dogs – The Distinctive Series Dissected – Part two”

Diamond Dogs – The Distinctive Series Dissected

Part one: With the jury on PSA’s luxury line coming to some less than palatable conclusions, is Carlos Tavares in the mood to listen as the DS project sputters and pops.

Image via independent.ie
Image: independent.ie

When PSA launched the DS line in 2009, many observers viewed it as the final throw of the dice for Citroën. Suffocated by a value strategy that saw ever-decreasing returns, the ailing brand icon appeared on its last legs. Critics and Citroënistes alike condemned PSA’s plan as madness, yet early sales both in Europe and latterly China saw many of us eating sizeable chunks of humble tarte. Indeed so bullish was PSA Chairman, Carlos Tavares last year that DS was divorced from Citroën as a stand-alone marque. Continue reading “Diamond Dogs – The Distinctive Series Dissected”

Brand or Banned

Is DS going to be blackballed?

Ceci n'est pas une Citroën #1
Ceci n’est pas une Citroën #1

Although I’ve never been a club sort of person, for various reasons I’ve been an on-off member of the British “Citroën Car Club” for many years. It’s a long-established and still apparently healthy club, with a well-produced magazine. When I first received ‘The Citroënian’ they were coming to terms with the aftermath of the Peugeot takeover and were introducing a column for the newly released Visa, a car not without merits and character but, like the stop gap LN/A before it, based on the Peugeot 104. Since then, a host of PSA derived models have joined to rub shoulders with the quintessential Traction Avant and Déesse. The Club even dutifully launched a column for the featureless blob that was the Xsara and, basically, if it’s got chevrons on the front, it gets written about. Continue reading “Brand or Banned”

2014 Citroen DS3 – Quick Review

The 3 was the first of the new DS line – does consideration of it now give any clues to the new marque’s future?

The silver lining to having a car that spends more time than one would like “being serviced” is that one usually gets a courtesy car to try whilst one’s (un)faithful steed is being restored to full health. 

DS3ext

Previously, I’ve written about how a “lowly” Ford Fiesta provided in such circumstances proved to be one of the nicest drives that I have ever experienced; today it is the turn of the DS3. Continue reading “2014 Citroen DS3 – Quick Review”

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. Continue reading “A glimpse of the future for the DS brand”

Theme : Concepts – Yet Another DS Stunner!

Steaming Hot News From Paris!

DSuperficiale

Following on the heels of the Divine, the Paris Salon was today stunned by another offering from PSA’s ambitious DS brand, its latest concept the DSupérficiâle. Originally thought by diehard enthusiasts to be a homage to the D Super, itself the successor to the classic ‘no-frills’ ID19, PSA was anxious to dispel such misconceptions. At the press launch, DS spokesman Jean Conneries, standing in front of a still-shrouded shape, explained the philosophy behind the car.

We are foremost a French brand. We must build on that as the 21st Century progresses. However, in the past we have mistakenly concentrated too much on those aspects of heritage that are specifically Citroën. France has a huge heritage that it has bequeathed the World and foremost in that is philosophy. The philosophy of this car is ….. philosophy itself! Continue reading “Theme : Concepts – Yet Another DS Stunner!”