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Daimler Kills Maybach Brand Ahead of Schedule

German ultra-luxury brands dies a second death.

by on Aug.17, 2012

Daimler tried to save the Maybach brand with the 2010 launch of the Zeppelin, which even had an optional, $10,000 automatic perfume atomizer.

Daimler AG has officially called it quits on the grand plan to create a luxury car brand to rival the likes of the vaunted Rolls-Royce and Bentley. The German maker has “discontinued” production of all Maybach products.

The question is whether anyone other than the media will notice.  Despite its most ambitious efforts, the Maybach marque barely generated 10% to 20% of the sales the maker had ambitiously anticipated, apparently leading Daimler to pull the plug even earlier than originally expected.

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The end came almost exactly a decade after Maybach made its splashy U.S. launch, a helicopter sent to pluck the first of the massive vehicles off the QE2 ocean liner as it entered the Hudson River and deliver the sedan to a media introduction in New York City.


Sneak Peek: Maybach Zeppelin

Maybach hopes timing isn't everything.

by on Mar.04, 2009

Maybach Zeppelin: Is timing everything in a weak luxury market?

Daimler's Maybach Zeppelin: Is timing everything in a weak or collapsed luxury market?

Timing is everything, or so it’s been said, so one has to question the arrival, at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, of the new Maybach Zeppelin.

Harkening back to the classic sedan the original Maybach Motors sold in the years before the Second World War, the new sedan is as lavish – and about as expensive – as anything else on the road today. Unfortunately for the automaker’s parent, Daimler AG, luxury car sales have been hurt as badly as more mainstream products, during the current, global recession. And, so, the launch of the Zeppelin raises, for some, as many questions as answers about a brand whose demise has been repeatedly sounded, in recent years.

Daimler launched the reborn Maybach marque, in 2003, as a way to attract even more affluent buyers than those opting for its Mercedes-Benz brand – and to provide an alternative to traditional ultra-luxury nameplates, such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley. But sales have so far run at just a fraction of the rate originally forecast.