Daimler executives have a plan in place to shut down its ultra-luxury brand Maybach, according to a report by the British magazine Auto Express. Maybach was bought by Daimler-Benz in 1960 and was restarted as an automotive brand in 2002, following the unveiling of the Mercedes-Benz Maybach concept in Tokyo in 1997.
Wilhelm Maybach, a former technical director at Daimler, founded Maybach in 1909 as a heavy-duty engine production company. Its first concept car debuted in 1919.
Two years later, it had discovered its niche as a manufacturer of extravagant vehicles. In 1940, automotive production was halted, when the company building engines for German tanks in World War II.
Car manufacture then stalled for 60 years. Since 2007, sales at Maybach have flatline. But there are no signs that its difficulties will stop soon as the global economic downturn has made it worse.
In addition, Daimler may be seeking to block Maybach from cannibalizing sales within their house brand. It should be noted that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is set for release in 2014.
The S-Class is described to be a top-shelf car with an awesome touch screen that lets the user control most interior functions with hand gestures. Maybach has said previously that its short-term plans include a facelift only, and no new engines.
A redesign adds more features, including LED daytime lights, new grille, freshened bumper, and a hood with a new look. The revised Maybach could get a debut in April at the Beijing Auto Show.