DS Automobiles UK has appointed the PSA Group-owned premium brand’s European commercial director, Jules Tilstone, as its new managing director.
Tilstone, who has over 20 years of experience within PSA having started his career with the company as a commercial manager before moving into national fleet and marketing roles, replaces Alain Descat as he moves to a new role as DS marketing director in the brand’s native France.
Descat revealed DS Automobiles plans for the UK market in a face-to-face insight feature with AM earlier this year.
New MD, Tilstone, joined DS Automobiles in 2014 as head of international head of marketing before assuming the European commercial director role in 2017.
Commenting on his new role, he said: “It is a great privilege to take on the role of managing director for DS Automobiles in the UK.
“I have worked very closely with Alain over the past few years and appreciate all the hard work and effort he has put into developing the strength of the DS Brand in the UK.
“I am thoroughly looking forward to building on this work.”
Over the past six months, two of its biggest DS Showrooms in the UK have been officially opened – Robins and Day’s DS Store Leicester and its flagship DS Store West London.
In June, the brand launched its Virtual Showroom platform alongside other PSA Group brands and this week it launches its own on-line retail platform.
DS has already begun its electrification push, meanwhile, with a range now featuring the DS 7 Crossback E-TENSE 4x4 plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE, electric SUV.
Those electrified models will soon be joined by the new flagship DS 9 PHEV saloon.
Tilstone said: “We have an exciting future ahead as a young and agile new premium brand with electrification at the heart of our strategy.
“In Europe this year, we are outselling Lexus and closing in on Jaguar. We have an enormous opportunity to deliver a razor sharp customer focus as we look to establish a seamless digital presence, consolidating our DS Stores and Salons and are committed to providing the choice between a digital and a physical experience at each and every stage of the journey. The ultimate luxury for our clients is choice.”
Tilstone will report to Alison Jones, the PSA Group UK’s managing director and senior vice president PSA Groupe Executive.
Jones, who was recently appointed as a vice-president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome Jules into the role of managing director of DS Automobiles in the UK.
“Jules already has a proven track record working with DS as the brand has gone from strength to strength across Europe.
“I would like to thank Alain Descat for all the great work he has done to develop DS Automobiles across the UK over the past few years, and wish him all the best for the next stage in his career.”
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