DS aiming for the premium brands with new dealer training scheme
The DS Academy will train dedicated sales staff from the newly-established DS Salon and larger DS Store stores, now totalling over 200 sites worldwide, including not only products and personalisation options but in offering a one-to-one point of contact for its customers, according to vice president of global sales and marketing, Arnaud Ribault.
“Once you are ready to pay for a product at a certain level, you expect a quality of service, and this is what we have to provide to our customers,” he said. “Normal work has to be done perfectly – that’s the same for Citroen, but it’s even more important on the premium market.
“Our story is unique because we started with Citroen, and now we are separating our network. But we cannot do that in one day. We are not driven by volume, we are driven by establishing the brand, the service, the quality. It’s a big commitment, of 15 years of work.”
DS has completed the first phase of its separation from Citroen, unveiling an updated DS 3 without the double chevron badge of its former parent company. The DS 3, which accounts for almost two thirds of the 600,000 cars the brand has sold globally since 2010, will also be the first model to get a version developed by the DS Performance motorsports division, which launches in April.
The next phase begins in 2018, with six new models due for launch before the end of the decade and set to be sold in all regions other than North America – two of its current range are only available in China. This will include a Qashqai-sized SUV, which Ribault said has the potential to become DS’s biggest-selling vehicle.
“The big difference is our strategy will be worldwide; DS 3 today is a European car, outside Europe the share is not so big,” he explained. “If we have a good premium C-SUV then worldwide we will have the capacity to sell more [volume] than DS 3.”