Mercedes Eliminates Maybach Brand

Mercedes Eliminates Maybach Brand

Ever since the resuscitation of Daimler AG’s Maybach brand of ultra-luxury car nearly a decade ago, sales have dwindled and profits have been slim, which has forced the company to announce their intention to discontinue it. Instead of searching any longer for a profitable fix for this problem, they have turned to expanding their S-Class Mercedes-Benz from three to six variations, set to launch in 2013, which sounds the death knell for the Maybach.

This decision was revealed to the German press after the company’s chief executive in Stuttgart was interviewed about the ways they intend to increase sales for the S-Class luxury models, which the Maybach was unable to do almost immediately after it was brought back. Fewer than 200 models were purchased last year, despite lavishness and six digit starting price. Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche spoke about the stronger sales chances available to the Mercedes-Benz than those of the Maybach.

The S-Class currently contributes sales of about 80,000 models for Daimler a year with an asking price of just under $100,000. Zetsche reportedly feels that their expansion of this line could eventually double sales.Though Maybach has proven troublesome for the past ten years, the company has attempted to implement solutions to dwindling costs. They had considered partnering with Aston Martin, a UK-based maker of sports cars, in a bid to lower its own production costs. Ultimately, however, Daimler has been unable to successfully create demand for Maybach after a decade of trying, and this merger was finally abandoned in 2011.

One of the biggest obstacles to their success was the fact that many critics have derided the Maybach as being indistinguishable from the more affordable S-Class, which shares much of the same design and technology of their less expensive counterparts. Maybach was once the most popular of Germany’s luxury cars, especially in the 1920s and 30s. Its much hyped return to the market in 2002 was a gamble on the part of Daimler to compete with BMW AG and Volkswagen AG when they entered the super-luxury business after purchasing the rights to Rolls Royce and Bentley, which under intense restructuring have seen record sales recently. However, Juergen Hubbert, the then-chairman of Mercedes-Benz, was reported to say that the reason behind the resuscitation of the Maybach was based on a reported annual sales of 800, which, in actuality, the model never achieved.

While the Maybach models have been praised in their homeland of Germany, their failure elsewhere in the world has sealed its doom. Until recently, the Maybach was set to be produced into 2014 before focus shifted to working on the Mercedes-Benz brand. Zetsche has officially stated the company will cut its losses rather than push forward uncertainly with Maybach, since it has failed to live up original expectations. He also bragged about the ways that Mercedes is fronting an attack on sales of high-end vehicles, claiming that Mercedes has always dwelled at the top of the pack, that he believes that this dominance will continue into the future, and that the company refuses to wait until their competitors pull ahead as well.

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for where Volvo engines are shipped nationwide every day.

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