Car reveals that Daimler invested at least €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in Maybach, yet still lost a considerable amount of money on selling the pricey cars. Ultra-luxury marque Maybach will be killed off by 2013 because the company failed to produce strong enough sales figures over the past decade.
When launched in 2002, Maybach was supposed to sell 2000 cars annually, but in reality the company only sold a few hundred each year. As a result, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche decided to cancel Maybach and instead court high-end automobile customers with new Mercedes models
By 2013, Mercedes will launch up to six new high-end cars, including variations of the current S-Class flagship, designed to attract former Maybach buyers. The move makes sense, as the Mercedes S-Class outsold Maybach products more than 200 to 1 in the U.S. market. At the same time, rival Bentley is reportedly courting former Maybach customers, including celebrities like rapper Jay-Z and actor Samuel L. Jackson, in hopes of drawing them away from Mercedes showrooms.
Until the decision was made to kill off Maybach, Car says the brand had several new vehicles in the pipeline. The possibilities included a large luxury SUV, an entry-level model called the 52, and a four-door convertible based on the 57 sedan. The convertible evolved into the Mercedes Ocean Drive concept of 2007. Daimler also was in talks to build the next generation of the Maybach 57 and 62 on an Aston Martin chassis, which would have debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Source: Car Magazine