Maybach to be Axed by Mercedes
November 25, 2011
by Greg Kable
High ranking Mercedes-Benz sources have confirmed to Autocar that the under-performing Maybach brand will officially be killed off in 2013.
The decision to disband Mercedes-Benz’s upper luxury marque comes after lacklustre sales of the company’s existing 57 and 62 limousines and a recent decision from chairman Dieter Zetsche not to push ahead with the development of replacement models – the likes of which were tentatively due out in 2014 – owing to what one insider describes as a "positive move to focus greater attention on the Mercedes-Benz brand."
"We’ve come to the conclusion that it is better to cut our losses with Maybach than to continue into an uncertain future with a brand that has failed to live up to original sales expectations," said the insider. "Plans are already in place to fill the void left by the axing of the Maybach 57 and 62 with the next-generation S-class, which will be offered in three wheelbase variations, including a top-of-the-range S600 Pullman."
Moves to push Mercedes-Benz further upmarket into the segment follows an internal marketing study which came to the conclusion that it has more potential to succeed in the upper luxury segment against competition from the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce than Maybach, which despite being revered at home in Germany failed to gain traction in key world markets.
Despite the plan to dump Maybach, both the existing 57 and 62 will be produced through to early 2013, at which point the fifth-generation S-class is due to be introduced.
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