In 2009 Groupe PSA decided to introduce a new premium line of cars under their own brand as other manufacturers such as Toyota had done with ‘Lexus’ and Nissan with ‘Infiniti’. They wanted to build on the rich design heritage of the original Citroën DS cars made by Citroën from 1955 to 1975, which were innovative, futuristic and quickly became celebrated automotive icons.
So in 2009 Groupe PSA announced that their new premium line of cars would be branded ‘DS’ and marketed as a sub-brand under their mainstream Citroën brand.
The Citroën DS3 was launched in 2010 as the first model of this new premium line, followed soon after by two further models, the Citroën DS4 and Citroën DS5 in 2011.
As well as a reference to the original Citroën DS cars, ‘DS’ is also an abbreviation of the phrases ‘Different Spirit’ and ‘Distinctive Series’. Furthermore ‘DS’ is a play on words in French because it is pronounced ‘déesse’, which is French for goddess.
The success of the premium Citroën DS range enabled Groupe PSA to separate a new premium ‘DS Automobiles’ marque from the Citroën brand several years later. This event was marked by the launch of a new facelifted version of the DS3 at the beginning of 2016 without Citroën badges and branded as the new ‘DS Automobiles DS3’.
From the very beginning the DS3 was a great success: