April 20, 2014

Maybach to end production this year?

The Maybach 57S Coupe

Maybach Cruiserio Coupe - probably the last Maybach

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has revealed that the future of Maybach will be decided this year. A closure of Maybach seems the most likely outcome.

It’s inevitable that speculation continues about the fate of Maybach – the Mercedes effort to take a piece of arch-rival BMW’s Rolls Royce market – when sales are so abysmal. And continue it does, fuelled this time by a statement from Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche at the Detroit Motor Show.

Zetche is quoted – when asked about the future of Maybach – as saying: “The success or failure of Maybach hardly shows up on our results, but it is something I want to have a decision on by year-end. And everything is on the table.” Does that include killing it off, he was asked? “Everything is on the table,” he confirmed.

Which is as close as we’re going to get to confirmation that Daimler has decided Maybach will almost certainly die a death this year. The clues have all been there for a while, of course.

When we reported on the Maybach Coupe project we suggested it was a swansong to the Maybach, reinforced by the revelation that Mercedes hasn’t yet started on a replacement for the current Maybach, despite its age – it’s thirteen years since Maybach first hit the motor shows.

We also had a Mercedes source telling us last year that Mercedes were planning a Mercedes ‘S Class Maybach’ when the next S Class comes along.

Initially we dismissed this as a bit too ‘Capri Ghia’, but the demise of Maybach before the next generation S Class arrives would make it a sensible move for Mercedes to get some mileage out of the Maybach name going forward.

However, it does appear there is a last-ditch effort to see if there is a possible way forward for Maybach, with Daimler discussing out-sourcing Maybach to Aston Martin to design and build. The beauty of that as a possibility is that Aston Martin could use the S Class as a basis and conjure up a new Maybach – a beautiful Maybach, no doubt – much more quickly than a behemoth like Mercedes could. Blimey, Aston Martin could even farm it out to CPP to build – just as they do the Aston Martin One-77.

So the AM route is a remote possibility, but our money’s still on Maybach closing its doors very soon, possibly by the end of the year.

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