Whenever I mention Daimler’s Über-Benz Maybach, even people in the know often remark: “Haven’t they stopped making them a while ago?” No, they have not. But they might. Or not.
By June 30, Daimler will decide what to do with Maybach, CEO Dieter Zetsche told Automotive News Europe. If they find a partner, they’ll keep Maybach. If not, Maybach will be history – again. Between 1921 and 1940, the company made the opulent cars favored by stars and dictators. The brand lingered on unused while owned by engine maker MTU. MTU was bought by Daimler. In 2002, the brand was revived.
Confirming longstanding rumors, Zetsche finally said that Daimler has been in talking to Aston Martin about development and production of a next-gen Maybach.
“There is a higher likelihood to come to a positive decision” for a second-generation Maybach sedan if a partner is involved, Zetsche said.
According to Automobilwoche, Zetsche opined that spending a billion dollar to develop the Maybach was “not a good investment for a low volume car.” And that’s putting it charitably. Automobilwoche pegs worldwide Maybach sales in 2010 at 157 units. Initial estimates had projected 1,500 units per year.