F. CEREZO | F. GARCÍA
Updated Friday, May 14, 2021 – 09:17
The general director of DS Automobiles for Spain and Portugal manages the eighth premium brand by sales in a segment dominated by German brands by 73%.
Borja Sekulitis, general director of DS Spain and Portugal DS7 test, pleasant driving also in hybrid DS 4 The fourth ace of the deck
Within that giant that is Stellantis, the result of the merger of PSA and FCA, the DS brand claims to be the flagship ‘premium ‘French consortium, completely autonomous. Y Borja Sekulits, its director for Spain and Portugal recently confirmed in the position, shows «happy and satisfied to continue leading it in two markets that are very relevant within Europe, with Spain among the top three along with France and Italy.
This performance is specified in 2021 with a eighth place for sales -very close to Land Rover- within a segment dominated with an iron fist by the German brands, which account for 73% of registrations. But where DS falls 21% compared to the 36% that the category does, «since», he affirms, «we are a brand with less variability». And where it achieves a share in electrified vehicles that doubles the general it has, reaching 4.5%.
One third electrified
Right now, 27% of the cars they sell are electric or ‘plug-in’ hybrids. “But the plan is to reach a third already this year. It is a very ambitious goal, ”says Sekulits, who admits the advantage of premium customers.
“He is a more pioneering buyer in the change, he is more used to a payment by installments, which facilitates the energy transition. But it must be said that, in reality, the market today is, 75% or 80%, Madrid and Barcelona. This is due to the fact that many of the advantages linked to the low-emission vehicle are linked to municipal regulations such as free parking or access to its centers. So while these customers may be eco-conscious, prioritize practicality and the benefits of the ZERO label of the DGT ».
So the future happens because those advantages of daily use, considerable and appreciated by the market, «Are more generalized and standardized throughout Spain and the buyer enjoys them regardless of where you reside».
In addition, he believes that there is still time to be given to evaluate the effect on that demand of the Plan Moves III, with grants of up to 7,000 euros for a battery-powered car. «It has improved, but where there is more evolution is for private buyers, which are the most difficult customers in this conversion towards new technologies and, especially, to pure electricity. In addition, as in the previous edition, it continues to have an autonomous deployment, so we depend on the conditions that each community puts. In any case, we as a brand are going to support it ».
100% combustion channels
At the moment, 35% of the units of the DS7 Crossback they ship are plug-in hybrids, being available with 225 and 300 hp (this last model, with all-wheel drive). “This, taking into account that there are certain channels that are still 100% combustion, such as rent a car or some business clients».
But it is that, with its most recent launch, the large saloon DS9, they expect that percentage to reach 80% and the rest will be of the gasoline model. The car is launched in June (see information above) and is the first of the brand’s two major milestones in 2021.
The other is represented by the compact DS4. «Arrives in October, although orders can already be placedLa Première version online. Regardless of the market, it will push us towards a good result, so we will have a very strong last quarter».
The DS4 belongs to the segment C, one of the most powerful with up to 22% of registrations and “in which we, as a brand in creation, must be”, he adds. It will also be your most versatile car, as it will have a body – called Cross – of crossover air.
With its arrival, and also counting on the small SUV DS3 Crossback, the French brand will reach a premium market coverage of 70%. While, the dealer network it will continue to increase from the current 34 to the 40 that have been set as a target. A network that «should be sufficient, but also selective»And that it will channel exclusive activities for its clients.
Already in a global key, Sekulits forecasts that the total market in Spain will be around one million units. Regarding the problems of supplying chips for the manufacture of vehicles, he says that right now «it is affecting the rental car segment in the short term, while the total for the year will depend on how the vaccination goes and how the economic situation recovers.
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