In this trying and testing times in the automotive sales market across the globe, here is another piece of disheartening news for the automobile lovers. Maybach, the Daimler owned ultra-luxury car brand is going to be discontinued after the company found it very difficult to maintain it in the face of dwindling sales volumes and lack of profitability. It was barely a decade since the company had revived the Maybach brand and made it popular with its luxury products. Instead, the parent company, Daimler now wants to shift its focus on its luxury car product, the Mercedes-Benz S Class. The company has plans to expand its top-of-the line Mercedes Benz S Class to six variations from the currently existing 3 when a new generation of the flagship model is launched in 2013. However, till then the company also said it will continue the Maybach brand.
This move was first revealed in a German newspaper interview of Mr. Dieter Zetsche, the Daimler Chief Executive. He said that this move was being carried out as an effort to boost sales in the highest end of the luxury product offerings, a task that wasn’t achieved with the Maybach brand. Though the Maybach with its price tag of $375,250 makes heads turn at the auto shows, its sales have continued to decline over time to less than 200 Maybachs worldwide last year.
“We came to the strong conclusion that the sales chances for the Mercedes brand are much stronger than those for Maybach,” Mr. Zetsche was quoted as saying in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung interview, whose contents Daimler confirmed.
The management team of Daimler AG has been trying to solve this problem for years and had also considered getting into a tie-up with the British sports car maker, Aston Martin to for technology and component sharing to reduce costs. Maybach, originally one of Germany’s most luxurious cars in the 1920s and the 1930s was revived by Daimler AG in 2002 when its rivals BMW and Volkswagen ventured into the luxury car segment by acquiring Rolls-Royce and Bentley respectively. However, from the start the company has faced difficulty in cultivating sales of its products. Few people say the reason behind this is the lack of distinction of the Maybach brand from the S Class with which it shares many platforms and components. Now, by expanding the range of S Class models, Daimler hopes to give refreshed competition to Rolls-Royce and Bentley.