Daimler has finally decided the fate of its failing ultra-luxury Maybach brand: It will be killed in 2013, according to a report in Autoweek, citing high-level Mercedes-Benz sources.
Company Chairman Dieter Zetsche had said earlier this year that a decision was coming on whether to try to revive the brand with a partnership (Aston Martin was rumored) or new models designed in-house -- or to just cut their losses. The new-model idea was dropped and now the ax has fallen in what a source told the magazine is a "positive move to focus greater attention on the Mercedes-Benz brand."
Mercedes-Benz USA offered no comment.
The Maybach brand, and its arguably fusty-looking 57 and 62 sedan/limos with prices well into six figures, never caught on with the posh crowd who can afford such cars.
What's next? The source told Autoweek that "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 and six different body styles, including a top-of-the-range S600 Pullman."
(Considering that the current models apparently put luxury buyers to sleep, we think Pullman is an unfortunate choice for a name, but maybe it means something other that a railway sleeper car in German.)
But Mercedes needs a high-end model or brand to compete with the likes of BMW's Rolls-Royce (a brand Mercedes tried to buy) and VW's Bentley, which have been revived and have posted sales records.
Rush Limbaugh has a Maybach, Paris Hilton has a Bentley. Need we say more?