Stellantis to maintain DS brand in China despite disappointing sales

·1 min read
The logo of DS is seen on a DS 4 automobile, produced by Stellantis, during its launch event in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - Stellantis (STLA.MI), the world's fourth-largest carmaker, will keep selling its upscale DS Automobiles brand in China, where by early next year it will unveil a new plan to boost disappointing sales, brand director Beatrice Foucher said on Tuesday.

Following the creation of Stellantis in January through the merger of Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler and France's PSA, chief executive Carlos Tavares promised to keep the group's 14 brands on condition that each would focus on its strongest markets and segments.

The question of maintaining the DS brand's presence in China, where sales have slumped to a record low, has come up again after Stellantis sold its stakes in a local production site for the brand.

"Nothing is changing for DS at this point. The plan is to continue in China," Foucher told reporters.

Tavares will lay out by early 2022 how he aims to revive sales in the world's biggest car market.

Part of that plan will be a focus on 100% electric Opel vehicles and using one of the plants of its joint venture with GAC, which specialises in producing the Jeep brand.

DS, which is one of Stellantis' premium brands along with Alfa Romeo et Lancia, will inaugurate the group's STLA Medium electric platform with a new car model in 2024.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by GV De Clercq; Editing by Mike Harrison)

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