Citroen to Launch New High-Range Line of Cars

First model in the new Citroen line is expected to be available by early next year

French auto maker Citroen said on Feb. 4 it was set to launch a new high-range line of cars, in a rebranding which reports said will revive the classic image of its popular DS model from the 1950s. Citroen plans to unveil "a new identity, a new line of products and a new relationship with our customers," a spokeswoman said.

The financial daily Les Echos reported that the new line would include a relaunch of the DS saloon brand. A Citroen spokeswoman confirmed that its plans involved the use of the name DS, but said this did not mean a revival of the DS design. She declined to give further details.

Citroen built almost 1.46 million DS cars of various models between 1955 and 1975, impressing consumers with its pneumatic suspension and distinctive sleek design.

The new brand comes as auto makers worldwide are suffering severely from the global economic downturn, cutting jobs and production due to slumping sales.

Several other car makers have turned back the clock in recent years by bringing out revamped versions of classic models, such as the Volkswagen Beetle, the Fiat 500 and the Mini by BMW.

Automotive News Europe, citing industry sources, said the first model in the new Citroen line, the DS3, was expected to be available by early next year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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