Citroën today celebrate their 90th year on its founder Andre Citroën's birthday marking the eve of a new dawn for the French firm. The DS Inside Concept is a celebration of that fact - heralding in a new corporate identity, brand restructuring, a dealership network overhaul and the launch of a new product line under a new 'Créative Technologie' philosophy.
The recently unveiled new corporate logo and branding is the first hint things are set to change. Now having 'broken free' of their frame, the three-dimensional chevrons sit atop the now red 'Citroën', signalling vitality. And it certainly will be new life set for the brand.
The most anticipated development will be of the real star here: the DS Inside Concept, making its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show this week. Capitalising on a moniker that brought the French firm instant recognition for its creativity and innovation in 1955 with the DS luxury saloon's hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension system, the DS brand is to be revived - with Citroën intent on that very same consequence.
Citroën's new development strategy is moving with the times - consumers increasingly shifting from 'wanting better' and not simply 'more'. Split into two distinct programs of development, the premier stategy will focus on driving pleasure-oriented consumers after prestige, thrills and excitement - without the 'rigid codes' of traditional premium models.
Launching successively under DS3', 'DS4' and 'DS5' branding from 2010, Citroën will position three new entries in the small, medium and large car segments, representing the very best from the firm. The DS3 based on the DS Inside Geneva Concept car, each model will embodie the 'Different Spirit' of Citroën's new 'Créative Technologie' philosophy.
Complementing this strategy is the consolidation of efforts to engineer more economical and 'intelligent' models for those consumers wanting the 'practical but stylish'. Examples of this strategy are already in implementation; the recently-released new C3 Picasso and the C-Cactus Concept, which showcases a future, more tailored solution.
Coinciding with the new directions in brand will be the redesigning of Citroen's 8,000-strong dealer network. A new showroom architecture, chosen from 12 shortlisted projects developed by leading architects, will deliver enhanced customer relations through transparency, fluidity and colour. The scheme will complement new levels in service, dubbed 'Citroën Select', and customer commitments in both sales and aftersales dubbed 'The Building Blocks'.