Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has confirmed that Maybach, the super-luxury brand named after the renowned engine designer and inventor Wilhelm Maybach, is ending. Daimler is terminating the brand even as it commemorates its 125th anniversary and is forecasting that it will achieve record profits.
Daimler will be writing off the billion-plus euros that has been invested in Maybach since 2002, when it was created by Zetsche's predecessor, Jürgen Schrempp. Apparently, Daimler isn’t too concerned that the move will leave just two brands (Mercedes-Benz and Smart) under the Mercedes Benz Cars group.
It’s no surprise that the Maybach brand, which has existed for just nine years, will soon fold since its sales have been quite terrible. In 2010, Maybach reported sales of only 157 cars. On the other hand, sales last year of BMW's Rolls-Royce subsidiary broke records with a 171% increase to 2,711 cars.
Daimler failed to exploit the potential in the super-luxury segment and it is becoming more difficult to do well in this expanding segment. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said that this segment will definitely go up as there are presently around 90,000 ultra-high net worth individuals and within 10 years, this figure is expected to increase to 125,000.
In the long-term, Mueller-Oetvoes hopes to achieve up to 10,000 in annual Rolls-Royce sales. To attract these extremely rich individuals, Zetsche will be coming out with six variants of the next Mercedes flagship S class, which will have its launching in 2013.
Sources expect that aside from the present coupe, short and long version, there will be a convertible similar to the Ocean Drive concept, a super-long S-class version of about 6 meters in length and a super-super that’s nearly 6.8-meter-long that would receive the Pullmann name and is aimed at politicians, particularly heads of state. [source: Autonews]