Citroen DS Luxury Sedan Targets Fashion-Conscious Chinese Buyers, Undercuts the Audi A3

Citroen DS 5LS 1 photo
Photo: Citroen
Last year, Citroen took the covers of the latest 'DS' model, not another cute little French hatch, but a large executive-style sedan designed specifically for the Chinese market. It's called the DS 5LS, the ‘LS’ in the name stands for ‘Luxury Saloon’.
From the side, it looks like any other sedan, but the front end is smart and chic, featuring chrome ‘wings’ that circle the grille and extend into the headlights. Since this Chinese market model is not easily understood, we wondered what sort of buyers would buy something like this.

According to a recent Automotive News report, people who are into fashion are the main targets for the DS brand in China. Arnaud Ribault, DS China's general manager, spoke out about the car which is going on sale on March 28, saying the following: "We have a lot of designers, people working in fashion. Someone who is buying an Audi A6, I think will never buy a DS5."

While no Audi A6 customer will buy the DS 5LS, some A3 customers might. At launch the French car undercuts its German-branded rival by 25%, starting at 150,000 versus 200,000. Ribault says the customer for his sedan is "younger, more independent and more tasteful," occupies middle or senior management positions and is between 30 an 35 years old.

That sound like the dream customer for any brand. So how is Citroen any different from the competition. For starters, their 5LS is produced locally, which makes it cheaper. The automaker has also partnered with actress Sun Li, famous across China for her role in Hougong Zhen Huan Zhuan., a period drama where she plays the leading role. The report suggests Citroen is also very active in the online world and has been a sponsor of the Shanghai Fashion Week for the past four seasons.

Citroen wants to establish itself as a key player in China, planing to reach 200,000 sales by 2015. Up to 100 DS ‘stores’ are also planned to open in the biggest Chinese cities.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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