Riding in the lap of luxury is about to get a little more cramped: Mercedes will reportedly kill its super-high-end Maybach brand in 2013, according to company insiders who spoke with AutoWeek. The gold-colored void will be filled with a new, higher-end S-class.
The reason for the allegedly impending death of Maybach is, of course, lower than expected sales of the Maybach 57 and Maybach 62, each of which cost between $375,000 and $430,000, respectively. The company had originally hoped to sell at least 800 Maybach models a year. Last year, the company sold fewer than 200 Maybachs worldwide.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that it is better to cut our losses with Maybach than to continue into an uncertain future with a brand that has failed to live up to original sales expectations,” said AutoWeek’s source. “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.”
In contrast to the low-selling Maybach, Mercedes sells about 80,000 S-class models, which start at about $92,000, each year. Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler AG, says he believes the company can double sales of the S-class line.
Despite the fate of Maybach, the ultra-luxury car market is far from struggling. Bentley and Rolls Royce have apparently had success by offering a number of lower-end models, which only put buyers out between $180,00 and $300,000 — a downright bargain, don’t you think?