Peugeot-Citroen to relaunch "Goddess": report

Tue Feb 3, 2009 10:03am EST
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PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker Peugeot-Citroen plans to relaunch its iconic DS limousine, vehicle of successive French presidents and one of the defining images of France for 20 years, business daily Les Echos said on Tuesday.

The DS, known as "The Goddess" from a pun on its initials, rivaled the famous "Deux Chevaux" or 2CV as an emblem of French motoring between 1955 and 1975, with its futuristic low-slung body and advanced hydropneumatic suspension.

Familiar outside France from films such as "The Day of the Jackal," where it was an important element in creating the feel of the local streets, it was one of the symbols of the country's economic boom after World War Two.

Les Echos said the new line would be launched as part of a plan to reposition the group's luxury range with a preliminary version expected to be unveiled on Thursday. It said the vehicle would be on sale from 2010.

Peugeot-Citroen, France's second-largest carmaker, said it would hold a news conference on Thursday, where it would announce a new product line, but it declined to confirm that it would be reviving the DS.

If confirmed, the relaunch would see Peugeot-Citroen following other European carmakers in reviving celebrated models including the Volkswagen Beetle, and the Mini, redesigned by German manufacturer BMW.

(Writing by James Mackenzie, editing by Will Waterman)