DS Automobiles has announced plans to have 400 standalone DS dealerships across Europe, with 60 in the UK, by the end of 2018.
The DS Salons and Stores will be separate from Citroen dealerships, as the brand distances itself from other PSA brands, and their expansion comes after news of the appointment of Alain Descat as DS Automobile UK appointed its first dedicted managing director.
Its new SUV, the DS 7 Crossback, will be exclusively available through the new sites.
All DS Stores will offer a virtual reality service for customers to configure and view the new model prior to purchse.
As well as building the DS network it has created a full training programme; DS Academy Camp to train sales advisors in the expectations and demands of high-end customers.
By the end of the year the company expects to have trained 450 ‘Expert Advisors’ at its Paris training centre.
A key initiative of the brand over the past few years has been its ‘Only You’ programme, which it says is aimed at putting the customer at the centre of the DS ambition.
It focuses on three principles: the customer has the choice of approaching DS or asking DS to come to them, their mobility is guaranteed and DS is available to respond to its customers.
As part of this programme, a number of initiatives are being implemented in the DS Stores and DS Salons. For example, the DS Valet service will be coming to all network outlets in 2018 – it enables the customer to have their vehicle collected and returned for service, but also to have new vehicles delivered and old part exchanges taken away.
The arrival of DS 7 Crossback marks the beginning of a new product range from DS Automobiles and is the first of a second-phase of all-new models that are being launched in relatively quick succession.
It is available from £28,050 with a range of petrol and diesel engines, plus a hybrid will join the line-up next year.
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