Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - 11
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE
be lower. It might be that it's early adopters
who are familiar with electric cars.
What is your sales strategy?
We try to show people the benefits of driving electric. For DS, electric is a high-end
powertrain. The cars are a real pleasure
to drive. You don't buy an electric car because you don't have a choice; you buy it
because you are excited by the fact that it's
electric. The second reason is that many of
our customers live in the city center, and
some cities are closing their centers to
non-zero emissions cars. It's a future-proof
car -- it will allow buyers to use it without
restriction on their mobility. On top of that,
the total cost of ownership is equivalent to
that of a car with an internal combustion
engine, but I think in the case of premium,
it's not the No. 1 reason to buy.
Are your dealers excited about selling electric cars?
They need to train salespeople to explain
the pros and cons of electric and provide
the proper guidance so people get the
cars they need. This is a huge transition
for the dealers, so their first reaction is
to say, "This is complicated." But, they
understand why it's going that way, and
they are getting excited now that they
see the mix of orders.
The DS 7 Crossback plug-in hybrid is
a real performance car but starting
at 54,000 euros, it's expensive. How
has the reaction been?
We are in the same range as the DS 3
Crossback E-Tense, about 10 percent
of orders. Without any cars available for
test drives, it's higher than we would
have expected. We are in pre-series production, still adjusting software. I expect
production will start in early 2020.
How do DS emissions fit into the larger picture for PSA Group?
There are two elements. [PSA CEO] Carlos Tavares has said we won't pay any
emissions fines [in 2020-21], so we will
be compliant. That is the economic element. There's a more fundamental element: We will not make a trade-off between emissions and economics. We will
not tell our customers that we will pay
emissions fines, even if we would be better off economically. It's our responsibility to be compliant with any emissions
regulations, even if there is an option to
pay for it. This is an ethical responsibility. Our entire range will be electrified
from the beginning of 2020, and we will
be a positive contributor to the group.
Your current lineup is nearly all SUVs.
How is that market evolving in Europe?
What people like about SUVs is the high
driving position. You dominate the road.
You see more so you feel safer. But at
the same time the main issue with SUVs
is their CO2 emissions. It is not very efficient at high speed to have a high-riding car. You have a lot of aerodynamic
resistance, which increases emissions
The DS 7 Crossback is the top-selling premium compact SUV in France with
a 20% share of the segment, according to DS.
and reduces the range of electric cars.
We think cars will become lower. That is
why we have introduced the Aero Sport
Lounge concept. It's a next-generation
SUV that is much lower and is optimized
DS sales have fallen sharply in China,
and your joint venture with Changan
will end. What is the future of DS there?
We would like to thank Changan for
their support over the last eight years
and take the opportunity to confirm that
DS brand will continue its presence and
development in China. We will deploy a
new strategic approach for the benefit
of our 75,000 customers and business
partners, but we can't say more about
the plan at this time.
What is the potential for DS outside
of Europe and China?
We like to say that before you sell 10,000
cars you must sell 100. There is no such
thing as a small market for us because we
are a new brand. For example, we will soon
cross the 1,000-vehicles-sold threshold in
Japan, and we will go on from there. We do
have priority markets, of course, and we
are relentlessly pushing the brand there.
Japan is one of them, South Korea is another attractive market. We are making inroads in Morocco and Turkey as well, even
though conditions there are very difficult
This year DS won both the constructors
and driver's championships in Formula
E with the DS Techeetah team. What
does DS get from the series?
We are really proud to have won the
double title this year. It says something
about how committed we are to electrifying our lineup. We have put our money
where our strategy is with Formula E. We
get technical benefits, because the cars
that win in Formula E are the most energy efficient, which is largely driven by
software. Everything we do in Formula E
with algorithms and software we try to
replicate in series production. In the DS
3 Crossback E-Tense (battery-electric
drivetrain), for example, about one-third
of the range is provided by regenerative braking. That technology comes directly from Formula E. And software has
no cost once it's developed so you can
transfer it from racing to series production, which you can't do with hardware
or sophisticated materials. We have a
very good return on investment by all the
measures we take. ANE
Automotive News Europe - January 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Europe - January 2020
Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - Intro
Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - Cover1
Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - Cover2
Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - 3
Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - Contents
Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - 5
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Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - 34
Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - Cover3
Automotive News Europe - January 2020 - Cover4