The beauty of an automaker entering a completely new market like China is the ability to completely redefine what the brand stands for to local buyers. In the case of France's Citroën, they're going decidedly upmarket, but instead of taking baby steps like turning its C3 econo-hatch into the DS3 premium hatch, the French automaker can start completely from scratch.
According to reports from Europe and China, parent company PSA/Peugeot-Citroën is planning on jump-starting its Asian operations by building a production version of its Metropolis concept, the first design carried out at the company's Shanghai-based design team. Unveiled there in May, the Metropolis stands for the Double Chevron's vision of what the marque could be to upscale Chinese buyers.
In production form, the Metropolis is anticipated to carry the DS9 nameplate, topping the DS range with an executive limousine that looks like the size of China itself. While the concept featured a compact V6 mated to an electric motor and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the production version could carry any powertrain, likely nestled into a modified platform borrowed from the outgoing Citroën C6 and Peugeot 407. The DS9 looks poised to be built at the joint-venture facility announced last July with Changan Automobile Group. Whether it will ever make it outside of China, of course, remains to be seen.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]