By on September 20, 2015

Citroen-Divine-DS-01-560x373

French automaker PSA may be preparing to bring its luxury arm Citroen DS, to the United States within the next few years, Car and Driver reported.

Citing a source within the company, a U.S. market launch would be “necessary” for the brand’s viability and a decision on whether to bring the French luxury cars would be coming within the next few years.

Any return for the French automaker would be fraught with difficulty: no dealer network, no service and their cars are decidedly less-than-American sized. The automaker currently offers a DS3 premium minicar, a DS4 premium subcompact and a DS5 family wagon

If it returned, DS would be the first French carmaker to sell cars in the U.S. in about 25 years. Peugeot explored the idea about 10 years ago, but ultimately gave up.

DS would need to overcome massive shortcomings in terms of product, distribution and service quickly to prepare a large-scale American attempt and to be viable in the States any time soon. Citroen had a Mitsubishi Outlander-based crossover once upon a time, and there is an old Mitsubishi factory could be up for sale. Just a thought.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

60 Comments on “PSA, Citroen Mulling DS Launch in United States...”


  • avatar
    slavuta

    DOA

    • 0 avatar
      WhiskeyRiver

      Wait. they’ve got a crossover. Lord knows we can’t get enough of those. Come on out and play Citroen.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You mean the DS-5 “family wagon”? That could pass for a SUV, and might sell (if the F-W name is dropped), since it has the BMW 1.6 turbo. The smaller hatches are cheaper than the 3-series, but the DS-5 might be too pricey at $40,000. The UK Top Gear review panned the stiff ride, quirky design features, and noise, but gave the DS-5 a 6/10 rating. PSA would need to partner with somebody for a dealer network, though. Maybe Carlos Tavares should be calling Sergio?

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    VW’s TDI issues should keep this eyesore where it belongs.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Sure why not?

  • avatar
    Speed3

    YES! I would LOVE to see this brand return to the U.S. In the name of fuel efficiency, cars these days are becoming so homogenous. It would be nice to see a car that isn’t so basic bitch for once.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Like cars in earlier periods didn’t all look similar to each other? A ’75 LTD and ’75 Caprice were 95% similar when viewed from the side. A ’15 Taurus and ’15 Impala (or, if you wanna get more realistic as to what most traditional big car buyers are buying nowadays, a ’15 F-150 and ’15 Silverado) are completely unmistakeable from each other at any distance or angle.

      Although yes, no matter what time period you’re in, the DS will always look different. And awesome.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Citroen literally means lemon. French cars have a reputation of being unreliable and odd looking. The only positive thing about a French car in the US market is that it would improve the image of Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      I don’t know anything about PSA except that their rally cars are sexy. Don’t they use BMW engines?

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      never mind

    • 0 avatar

      The French word for lemon is Citron, not Citroen.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It isn’t French, it’s Dutch.

      • 0 avatar
        WhiskeyRiver

        “The French word for lemon is Citron, not Citroen.”

        As a former owner of a 1972 SM, I beg to differ.

        I bought the car in the summer of 1976 after returning home from a stint in the Army. Thought it was cool.

        I’ll never forget my first trip to an auto parts store when the fuel pump failed (the first of a cascading list of unobtainable parts that failed.)

        “Can I help you?”

        “Yes sir. I need a fuel pump for a ’72 Citroen SM.”

        “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…”

        I give the guy a mixed look of hurt, confusion and anger.

        “Come here Steve.” He grabs another parts guy. “Steve, you ain’t gonna believe this one.” He looks at me and says “Tell Steve here what you need.”

        “Yes sir. I need a fuel pump for a ’72 Citroen SM.”

        Both of them…

        “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…”

        They were literally crying and slappin’ each other on the back.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          One time I hired a guy to deliver pizza in the shop I managed. He came to deliver with Renault. I said, if this is the car he plans to use, I will have to hire more competition for him so when his car breaks, I will have someone to complete delivery. Next time he came with Integra. That was Ok

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          You went to Autozone (or equivalent) in 1976 and asked for a fuel pump for an exotic.

          They were laughing at your younger self.

          Try going in there today and asking for a fuel pump for a Bentley. Unless VAG uses the same part in the Jetta, you’ll get the same reaction.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    A very niche brand indeed, they would not be able to sustain their stay here for any length of time.

  • avatar
    thelastdriver

    I’d think a Citroen wagon in the U.S. would appeal to the young hipster crowd. It’s weird enough and more useful than a Fiat 500, Smart, or Mini.

    Unfortunately poverty has prevented me from gaining “hipster” status.

    Living in Cleveland, Ohio the few French cars on the roads around here have always intrigued me.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    Columbo would buy one!

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Circa spring 1990, I went to the NY Auto Show where a Citroen XM was on display with doors locked. There were rumors then of Citroen’s return to the US market. So what’s changed with the US market since 1990? Just about everything, except for small cars being marginally profitable.

    I can see the C4 Cactus riding the mini CUV wave, though.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    One more reason for a Fiat-PSA merger.

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    I had another look at the pic. Why does this thing scream “AUDI!” to me?

  • avatar
    bricoler1946

    JeffS, you might want to look at your French/English dictionary. Citroen is the name of a French car manufacturer whose suspension systems were second to none and copied by certain high end car manufacturers. CITRON means Lemon in English. Or are you just a troll?

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      Maybe so but Citroen is similar enough to Citron. If you want to believe I am a troll that is your prerogative, but then maybe you are a troll. Citroen cars had an interesting suspension system and were different looking but I don’t think they were noted for their reliability. I do remember the popularity of the Renault Dauphin with their different sounding horns but I also remember that they were not very reliable.

      If Citroen wants to sell their cars in the US they will have to set up a dealer and distribution network which will take time and money unless Citroen merges with an existing manufacturer who has existing dealers in the US. Renault might have a better chance of succeeding by using the existing Nissan distribution network and dealerships. Also the French cost of producing a vehicle would be higher unless they used lower cost countries like China and Mexico to produce their cars. There are much better vehicles made from Germany, the US, Japan, South Korea, and soon to be China that are available in the US and Canada. I don’t think Citroen would last that long in the US market.

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        Both Citroen and Peugeot sell cars in Mexico and they both seem to do all right down here. Everything from hard top convertibles to work vehicles are available here. They seem to be at least as reliable as Nissan and American made vehicles. They look different, but that is good sometimes. Since Mexico has free trade agreements with most other countries, they are affordable and popular.

  • avatar

    I’d love to see Citroen come back to the US. The automotive landscape would be a bit less boring.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The problem with Citroen or another Frenchie coming to the US is not their products or reputation. The problem is dealer network or therefore lack of. Alfa and Fiat can work because there are so many Chrysler dealers out there, but unless Citroen partners up, its pretty much prohibitive to build a new dealer network from the ground up.

    The US is a big place. The reason the big 3 and Toyota have the market share they do is because they have hundreds and hundreds of dealers. It’s not just to buy the cars either, it’s to service them. No one wants to go 200mi roundtrip for a oil change.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “DS3 premium minicar, a DS4 premium subcompact”

    What’s the marvelously compressed, pity and comprehensive French word (because I KNOW there must be one) for “pompous runt”?

    • 0 avatar
      WhiskeyRiver

      The Napoleon.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        There was way more to Napoleon 1 than pomposity. And I don’t think Nappys 2 or 3 were physical runts.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Napoleon Bonaparte was 5’6″, which was normal for the time. The popular view of his being comically short is a combination of unit confusion, British propaganda, and comparison with the height of his bodyguards (who were all, as would be the norm today, quite tall and imposing).

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Great factoid. Thanks.

          The British and French were right to hate each other (“The Wogs begin at Calais”). It was their stupid, elitist and secret Entente Cordiale of 1904 that helped cause WWI and exterminate an entire generation for each.

          I wonder what similar ententes our present occupant has achieved.

  • avatar
    Joss

    The odds are stacked against them. Recall their past in the US and that of other frenchies. The DS was expensive and didn’t offer a six. The CX & SM were eliminated by bumper height legislation with their self-leveling suspension.

    The Cactus would be more plausible in my mind because of it’s sheer quirkiness.

    Again I think of other past design novelties like the Renault 16 and the 5 (le Car) which just didn’t appeal to America despite success in Europe.

    No I don’t see success for PSA here.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      The lack of a V6 is no longer that big of a deal in their size category. Even 10 years ago, it still would have been prohibitive, but now the market has shifted so much in favor of the turbo-4, this isn’t too much of an issue.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Just lift the DS5, add AWD and some body cladding. Itll fly off showrooms.

    Those are some seriously interesting and, I believe, great looking. I hope the do come here.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    “DS would be the first French carmaker to sell cars in the U.S. in about 25 years”

    What about Bugatti?

    There was talk of Citroen coming back around 10 years ago, but that got derailed by the housing bubble and tanking the US economy. China’s car market was far more appealing to PSA at the time, and they’ve achieved quite a bit of success there.

    BTW, for those who don’t know, “DS” is PSA’s luxury brand. The two other PSA brands are Peugeot and Citroen. DS was launched in China before Europe. The basic premise is that DS is a French luxury brand, just like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Dior, and so on. They would be competing with the German “Premium 3,” presumably offering more comfortable and luxurious cars.

    Do they stand a chance? Who knows. Given the right product (they will be releasing a bunch of new models soon), they could compete at the lower-volume end of the US luxury market (think Acura and Cadillac numbers, not Lexus and BMW).

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “They would be competing with the German “Premium 3,” presumably offering more comfortable and luxurious cars.”

      And Lexus. Except they’d have smaller engines and be less reliable, harder to get serviced, and even more likely to experience another pull-from-market action.

      PSA has NO money right now, we need to keep that in mind. It would be nigh on impossible for them to penetrate the US luxury market, starting with luxury. That’s not worked for -anybody- besides Lexus and Acura between 1986 and 1990. The luxury market has advanced considerably and become more complex and crowded since then. Not to mention both of those Japanese brands had a large backer behind them, funding the R&D and launch expenses.

      PSA has none of that.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        They do have Dong Feng who may be willing to invest into the US market. The name wouldn’t be familiar to most, but they build 3.5 million cars per year.

        I would argue that Audi was essentially re-launched in the US after 1990. Range Rover was also re-launched post 1990.

        Not saying it will work, but damaged European brands have succeeded in clawing their way back to the top before.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    No DS offers hydropneumatic suspension, does it?

    If not, why not just buy your little crampy car from Hyundai and put the difference into some really nice cologne? Or Gauloises?

    Wait… Gauloises AND cologne because cologne will attract mosquitoes and Gouloises will drop ’em.

    You could clear your whole backyard.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I remember all the fanfare over there for the PRV 6 and it turned out a crap motor for 3 euro luxury models.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    It’s probably worth making an alliance with someone and selling cars through them.

    Almost makes you wonder if we’ll see some sort of international AMC. (Renault-Nissan-AutoVAZ seems to be trying this)

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    DS also has two models made in China: the LS5 sedan and the WR6 crossover. They really need to replace their current European models which are mediocre and unify their lineup across regions, and release the DS9 soon before they have a chance in the USA.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Not without a long, long (mitsubishi-like) warranty.

  • avatar
    Seth Parks

    Would love to see PSA make the multi billion dollar commitment necessary to take a legitimate run at the US & Canadian markets. PSA would likely need to take a long-term perspective and be willing to both accept losses for a decade AND make constant investments in new product.

  • avatar
    Seth Parks

    Sounds like we all agree – PSA is highly unlikely to be up to the challenge. Nonetheless, as an enthusiast I hope they are.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • wolfwagen: Please tell me you are joking
  • mcs: “Elon Musk has not invented anything! He has only taken technology that is already out there and marketed...
  • GoFaster58: I plan on trading my 2018 Ram for the new Maverick. Ford screwed up by stopping production of the old...
  • GoFaster58: What a shame! It’s a beautiful truck.
  • GoFaster58: Elon Musk has not invented anything! He has only taken technology that is already out there and marketed...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber