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Citroën in Paris


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2. December 2013

You’ve got to hand it to Citroën.

There’s parent company PSA/Peugeot-Citroën. Struggling with a sale of 10% of its shares to Chinese partner Dongfeng. It seemed as though Dongfeng was going to go for 20%. Then it looks as though the number will be half. General Motors owns 7%. Not all that long ago, it seemed as though GM and PSA were going to be collaborating on a number of vehicles so there would be mutual savings on engineering and purchasing costs. That seems to be going by the wayside.

Then there was a powertrain partnership with Renault. It has recently ended.

And the company is faced with overcapacity in France, and shutting down a factory in that country is about as easy as enforcing a smoking ban in the Rive Gauche.

Still, last week the company opened what it calls “DS World Paris,” located at 33 Rue François 1er, which is in the Parisian “Golden Triangle,” a high-priced bit of real estate.

DS World 2

It is “dedicated 100% to the DS universe.”

Said in a less Parisian manner, this is a venue where Citroën is showing its DS models. Period.

To acknowledge the venue, they developed a special DS model. “The Citroën DS3 DS World Paris was designed exclusively to celebrate the DS World Paris,” said DS design chief Thierry Metroz, sounding like Gertrude Stein.

Only 15 versions are built. The body is painted matte ash grey with Trinitario brown for the roof and side mirror covers. There are 17-inch wheels with a diamond effect. Inside, there are leather “watchstrap” seating surfaces, and leather for the dash, gear lever, and central armrest. Wood is used for insets on the dash and door handles.

The whole execution is meant to reflect “French artisanal expertise.”

Given all that PSA/Peugeot-Citroën is going through, you’ve got to credit the company for its panache, if nothing else.

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