It’s being reported that Mercedes are going to take the axe to the Maybach – but not before a swansong run of 100 Maybach Coupes.
It’s taken a long time for Mercedes to admit defeat, but it looks as if they’re about ready to accept that they got it completely wrong with the Maybach. To be fair to Mercedes that’s not exactly what they said, but when Vice-President of Design – Gordon Wagener – admits that they haven’t been asked to produce any designs for a future Maybach it seems clear enough there aren’t going to be any.
Which is a complete turnaround from a statement made when the Maybach Zeppelin launched. Dieter Zetsche of Mercedes had gone on record as saying that “Maybach’s profitability or otherwise is not an issue”. But that is unsustainable in the long-run, even for a company the size of Daimler
With the Maybach already 8 years old and – even if Wagener’s team jumped to it today- there probably couldn’t feasibly be a replacement ready to go until 2015. By which time Mercedes will have to resort to a BOGOF offer on the existing Maybach to move any metal.
Unlike arch-competitor BMW, Mercedes thought an uber-S Class with every toy in the store would fit the bill for the Playstation generation of successful businessmen. But – with relatively few exceptions – buyers chose the immeasurably more appealing product from Rolls Royce. And with the RR Ghost now added to the list of Rolls Royce alternatives to the Maybach – not to mention the all new Bentley Mulsanne – it looks like the Maybach is going to repeat history and just stop production (the original Maybach company did the same after WWII, before being bought by Mercedes in 1960).
But the demise of Maybach as a marque may well not see the end of the name. Our man close to Daimler recently told us that there are rumours that the next S Class Mercedes – due in 2013/2014 – will have an uber-luxury version called the ‘S Class Maybach’. We didn’t take him too seriously – it seemed akin to a Capri ‘Ghia’ – but the news that Maybach is probably going adds far more credence to this assertion.
We’ve also heard on the grapevine this week that there are plans to produce 100 Maybach Coupes as a swansong to the marque. Not, sadly, the Maybach Exelero but a much less exciting coupe version of the existing 57S. We’re working on getting more details on the coupe and we’ll let you know once we’ve teased, schmoozed and twisted arms for the details.
But once the coupes are built and sold it does look as if it’s going to be Auf Wiedersehen, Maybach.