Yes its one big pond between the US and the French automaker but the Atlantic has been crossed by many other car companies so why not Citroen? In fact the company did sell cars here in the US many years ago before they merged with Peugeot and ended up making cheap models that didn’t turn heads or offer us a feeling of desire that had been part of the glory of the Citroen models for years. When they were last being sold in the US the Citroen offered us the original DS lineup which was turning heads with its standards for aerodynamics and giving the automaker plenty to be proud of in regards to competing with our big three.
While we enjoyed the fun of driving the DS for two decades when the brand fell into the PSA Peugeot Citroen name all the edge that has been part of the lauded name was lost. Can that be regained? That remains to be seen, but current information suggests Citroen is ready to launch in the US once again with a new version of the DS lineup, which has nearly become its own brand name under the parent company.
The DS has been a huge hit in China and all across Europe with the crowd that does not want to drive the same luxury car as their neighbor. The DS lineup is a premium name offering excellent luxury and comfort in a brand that is less typical than the likes of Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz. These car buyers tend to be more individualists, intellectuals and cultured than mainstream customers, which is not to say the DS can’t provide these comforts to anyone, it’s just the typical customer base thus far. How will Citroen create a desire in the US for such a brand name, especially when the plan is to have three models to begin with?
The brand is going to have to start with a great marketing campaign and build a decent dealer network to get things off the ground. This will require a substantial investment up front in order to present the three models that will be the lineup here in the US. These three models will be the DS3 minicar, DS4 premium compact sedan and the DS 5 crossover station wagon. For added success the DS5 should lose the designation as a station wagon and simply be called a compact crossover SUV which is more acceptable for US buyers.
Hopefully Citroen is able to make this transition work. There are plenty of buyers who would love an alternative to some of the mainstream names and may even remember the old Citroen name. This crowd could include the children of original owners who have heard the stories of how amazing the cars from this automaker were back in the decades it sold here. With these three to start, Citroen should be able to make a difference and offer us a French car that brings back memories and gives us a fantastic drive.