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DS Automobiles is performing well in Europe but there’s still a long way to go in Britain, admits UK boss

Time 11:59 am, October 28, 2020

DS Automobiles is on a ‘great trajectory’ in Europe and surpassing brands like Alfa Romeo in the sales charts but there’s still a long way to go in Britain, says the firm’s UK boss.

Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer at the opening of Robins & Day’s new West London ‘super showroom’, DS Automobiles UK managing director, Alain Descat, said the ‘path is good’ but there’s a long way to go.

‘If you look across Europe, the brand is on a great trajectory,’ he said.

‘When we parted from Citroen in 2015, we knew it would be a long, step-by-step journey to position the brand. Overall, we are have now overcome Alfa Romeo in Europe, we are very close to Lexus and on par with Jaguar. In Europe, in terms of our positioning, it is in strong.’

The UK picture is different, however, said Descat.

‘In the UK, our takeoff is a bit slower. The main obstacle we have for quick growth is the awareness of being a credible premium brand. We are happy with the development though.

The new Robins & Day showroom in Chiswick, West London

‘The path is good, but we will take a long time to spontaneously be in the memory of UK customers.’

Descat was speaking at Robins & Day’s new super site in Chiswick, West London, which features new and used car sales and aftersales for PSA brands Peugeot, Citroen and DS.

The multi-million pound makeover sees DS positioned in between its sister brands on the site – a move that will help with its awareness among UK customers, believes Descat.

‘When you are a premium challenger brand – and in the UK in particular which is a very challenging, busy market with strong brands – it’s important you are credible. That’s not just the cars but also the full customer experience. This store is a manifesto of that.’

Descat said that the new Robins & Day showroom will get ‘richer’ in terms of product in the future as DS seeks to expand its model range to six by 2023.

Car Dealer spoke to Descat during the summer where he detailed DS’s UK plans for future growth.

This is just a short snippet of the full interview – click the video at the top of this story to hear more

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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