By on March 29, 2010


Chinese site auto.sina.com [via thetycho.com] has a belly-laugher of a wild-ass rumor: they say BYD has its eye on Daimler’s zombie luxury brand Maybach. The rumor is clearly based on the fact that BYD and Daimler recently closed a cooperation deal, in which they will jointly build vehicles in China for sale under a new brand name. But beyond that, there’s not much to go on. From what I can tell from the Google Translate version of the story, auto.sina.com seems to have an anonymous source in BYD that on March 23 divulged:

BYD is on the matter and approached Daimler, Daimler announced soon abandoned the brand, BYD Auto will soon be underway acquisition action.


Technically, there may still be a chance for Maybach, but it’s certainly not looking good. Daimler’s honchos admit “privately” that the brand is over, but will the Germans hand over the once-proud name to “Hand-Build Your Dreams”? And if they do, what on earth would BYD slap the double-em badge on? The mind boggles. Luckily, auto.sina.com provides appropriately absurd options for describing your reaction…

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11 Comments on “Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: BYD After Maybach?...”


  • avatar
    twotone

    Sounds like a smart move to me. I worked on a two-month project in Beijing and Hangzhou last year and saw more Maybachs there than in any US cities.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    only the chinese are dumb enough to buy maybach… and simon cowell

    i would suppose this might get trumped at the 11th hour like Hummer

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Never seen a Maybach on the road. Ever.

    I guess if Build Your Deathmobile can crank them out at the right pricepoint, they may sell. In the Far East.

    It just seemed that the Maybach rep nevr got built-up to the point of having any serious exclusivity vis-a-vis a Roller.

    • 0 avatar

      This reminds me… the only time I’ve ever seen a Maybach on the road was in Beijing, in the HouHai area.

    • 0 avatar
      akitadog

      I’ve seen a Maybach on 3 separate occasions. I work in McLean, VA, and that’s the area in the Mid-Atlantic with too much money on display. Saw a Maybach there twice (could have been the same one) and one at the Redskins’ practice field on a practice day open to the public. I also saw a Mercedes SLR in McLean once as well.

  • avatar
    Dr Strangelove

    A marriage made in heaven.

  • avatar

    Maybach is a disaster. Even in the best of times, they sold only a few hundred per year. Post-carpocalypse, Maybachs became unsaleable. Back home in Germany, 26 Maybachs were registered in 2008, 31 in 2009. Break even is said to be 1500.

    Twotone and Ed are right: China bought a few. China is the world’s largest market for the S-Class, and if you wanted to outdo the S65 AMG of the tycoon next door, you got yourself a Maybach. Detailed data unavailable, Daimler doesn’t break out Maybach sales, they hide them under S-Class in their annual report …

    More on the story:

    auto.sina.com is known as a highly unreliable source, even by Chinese standards. They are the National Enquirer of car sites. Their alleged source at BYD said: “As soon as Daimler are ready to abandon a brand, BYD will reach out to buy it.” FWIW …

    Global Times, the English writing sister publication of the party paper People’s Daily, checked up on the story: “However, BYD wouldn’t confirm the development, and only said that it was not a groundless rumor.” Fanning the flames while protecting your tush.

    My take:

    - If owning a Rolls is money losing for a BMW, and owning a Maybach is a disaster for a Mercedes, then there are more entertaining ways to commit suicide than to buy that brand.

    - BYD is a master of propaganda. Their gasoline-fired F3 is a hit, their electric cars are a sham. If they are behind this, then it’s an attempt to mooch off the Geely/Volvo buzz.

    - Knowing the boys in Sindelfingen, they’ll rather put the Maybachs in a new museum (which probably will cost more to build than what BYD would give them for the brand) than sell off the once proud name plate to a battery maker. The current Maybach Museum lives in a rather downmarket former bicycle factory anyway. VW and Porsche execs, who are big on building museums for their cars, don’t lose a chance to rub that bicycle factory into Daimler’s open wounds.

    Maybach was meant as an answer to BMW/Rolls and VW/Bentley. It never got close, not even close to BMW’s already anemic Rolls sales. Not being able to create the excitement of a Bugatti, Maybach doesn’t even work out as an expensive toy for the Chairman of the Board.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      In the last week I have seen both the current (beyond fugly) Rolls Sedan and Coupe at the Whole Foods across the street.

      Having seen just about anything that was ever sold in NA on the road at some point or another, that the I have never seen a Maybach rollin’ speaks volumes. Expensive, yes. But not Enzo expensive…

      I agree Bertel, if one wants to set money on fire, there are far more entertaining ways to do it. Though intellectually it is different from an S-Class, on the ground, not so much…

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Since it’s not a story, then it really does not serve the readers of this blog to post it as such. Thanks.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’m somewhere between Gun Draft and Title Party on this.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    Since the Maybach’s styling looks like a Chinese car (Chinese designed and built limo for high ranking party members) that’s a perfect match.


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