DS through the countries and the decades
The DS 19 enjoyed a highly international career right from the word go, assembled in the UK and Belgium from 1956 and in South Africa starting in 1959. As a symbol of French elegance and avant-garde, the car was exported across Western Europe, to almost all the Commonwealth countries, including Canada and Australia, and to the United States, where it garnered a large base of die-hard fans.
The values of DS have often been linked to the cinema as well as to political power, from Charles de Gaulle to François Hollande. To replace the limousine produced in 1955 on the base of the Traction Avant by the coachbuilder Franay, the French president commissioned a new state vehicle, which was delivered to the Elysée Palace on 14 November 1968. Developed and built by Henri Chapron, the unique DS model measured 6.53 metres long and boasted ultra-luxurious equipment. DS proudly illustrates the elegance and avant-garde design of a quintessentially French car.
The Presidential DS
A momentous time in history came in 1968 – the Presidential DS was ordered by the French president’s office as France’s official state car. Selected by General de Gaulle, the DS has since carried all the world’s leaders with pride, including the inauguration of French president Emmanuel Macron.