Daimler will kill off the Maybach luxury brand and replace it with new versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class starting from 2013. Because the ultra-luxurious Maybach 57 and 62 sell in such small numbers, the company instead will create more expensive versions of the better-selling S-Class luxury sedan.
According to Reuters, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said he believes Mercedes has a better chance of selling luxury cars than Maybach. The company instead will launch as many as six variants of the S-Class by 2013. Those will likely include larger, more expensive versions of the brand’s top-level sedan.
When Maybach was launched in 2002, Daimler planned to sell about 2000 examples per year. Instead, global sales of the Maybach 57 and 62 have averaged about 200 cars per year. In the U.S., Maybach sold just 63 cars in 2010 and 66 cars in 2009. Sales of the Mercedes S-Class in the U.S., by contrast, numbered 13,068 in 2010, 11,199 sales in 2009, and has already sold 9804 copies in the first 10 months of 2011.
Daimler had previously considered spending millions to revamp the Maybach brand, and also had considered a partnership with Aston Martin to develop new models. With the new decision, Mercedes could see sales volumes of the S-Class double to about 80,000 units globally per year.