Peugeot Citroen Australia (PCA), a newly formed division of Inchcape Australia tasked with representing the two French brands locally has announced that Citroen’s luxury arm, DS Automobiles will be taking a break from the Australian market.
Instead of a premium focus, Citroen will instead be tasked with representing light commercial vehicles for PCA, owing to its previous success with the Berlingo light van and growth potential for the mid-sized Dispatch (called the Jumpy oveseas)and large Relay vans.
Inchcape CEO, Nick Senior, revealed the strategic change to Australian media at the launch of the Peugeot 3008 in the Hunter Valley of NSW this week.
“There’s going to be a huge ramp up of focus on light commercial vehicles, for this is a hugely untapped market. Rather than confusing buyers, all light commercial vehicle will be marketed under the Citroen nameplate.” Mr Senior announced.
Citroen won’t just focus on vans though, with the all-new C3 light car confirmed for an October 2017 arrival in Australia.
“Citroen, we see as an opportunity in terms of funkiness, a younger audience for the passenger cars which you see with the C3 and [C4] Cactus, etc.” Mr Senior said, before explaining why Citroen would also take on the role as PCA’s commercial vehicle division.
“In terms of why we have chosen to put the light commercials with Citroen, at the moment sales are roughly four to one [in favour of Peugeot], in terms to grow both brands it's better to put the light commercials so we can start moving towards a more equal mix.”
Citroen’s prestige DS Automobiles division has also come under scrutiny as part of PCA’s review of operations with the decision made to cease importing for the immediate future.
A small number of DS vehicles still remain in dealer stock, but for the next 12 months the fledgling luxury division will take a break from the Australian market, with a view to assessing the now stand-alone brand (in selected overseas markets) at a later date, putting vehicles like the current DS 3 light hatch, DS 5 medium hatch, and as-yet unreleased DS 7 Crossback medium SUV on standby
“DS, that’s an interesting one, and we’ve had preliminary discussions on DS," Mr Senior explained.
“On the basis of learning to walk before we run, we’ve said that we’ll revisit DS mid-next year, so we will sit down at that time and have a discussion with the factory about DS.”
“Let’s get 12 months under out belt with this [Peugeot and Citroen] and show some credentials before sitting down at the table.”