RENNES, France -- DS Automobiles, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen’s upscale brand, will launch a flagship sedan in 2018, a company source said.
The sedan, code-named the DS8, will be introduced first in China then in Europe, the source said.
The DS8 will have styling cues to connect the brand to the original, shark-nosed DS sedan launched in 1955. The Numero 9 concept shown at the Beijing auto show in 2012 and the Divine DS concept unveiled at last year’s Paris show also preview elements of the future flagship's design.
In China the sedan will be positioned above the DS 5LS compact and DS 6 crossover, the French website Auto Moto said in a report. Both models are sold only in China.
DS' top model will be underpinned by PSA’s EMP2 modular architecture that is used by the Peugeot 308 and Citroen C4 Picasso. DS plans the car as a competitor to premium large sedans such as the Audi A6.
The source said DS8 is a working name that could be changed for the production model.
A DS spokeswoman would not comment on the brand’s future product plans.
PSA CEO Carlos Tavares is betting on the success of DS to boost the French automaker’s profitability because DS cars earn higher margins than volume models.
PSA revived the DS badge for a range of near-premium models five years ago. DS became a stand-alone brand in April last year.
DS sales are falling as its lineup ages. The brand’s vehicle sales fell 20 percent to 42,100 in the first five months, PSA said in a statement on June 6. European sales declined by 24 percent to 31,700 and volume in China, DS’ second-largest market after Europe, dropped by 21 percent to 9,000.
Luca Ciferri contributed to this report