The sad story of Maybach’s mini boom-and-bust, reborn in the go-go 90s only to die in the “Great Recession,” may not have the tidy ending we’ve been expecting for years now. Yes, Automotive News Europe [sub] reports that death is one of the three official options for the Maybach brand… and it’s certainly the option I’d pick. But if Daimler didn’t want to hold onto the plutocratic appeal of its zombie brand, Maybach would have died with a little dignity some time ago. And remember, the decline of Maybach is not the result of a decline in the über-luxury market… Rolls-Royce is selling cars hand-over-fist.
Accordingly, Daimler is exploring two “death alternatives” for Maybach: One, is rebuilding the brand in partnership with Aston-Martin, the other is relegating Maybach to a range-topping trim level. Aston has reportedly built four concepts on the next-gen S-Class chassis, so a new lineup is a real possibility, but then turning Maybach into “the AMG of Luxury,” and offering high-end trim for the S, GL and CL models would be cheaper and possibly even more profitable. And of course there’s always the eternal option: death. Which strategy would you suggest to Daimler before spending your giant consultants fee on a Rolls-Royce Ghost?