Daimler Not Giving Up On Going After Rolls-Royce and Bentley, New "Super S Class" to Go On Sale in 2015

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
daimler not giving up on going after rolls royce and bentley new super s class to

Though Daimler shuttered its Maybach ultra-luxury brand, it isn’t giving up on selling cars in the $200,000+ price range. With the $470,000 Maybach, Mercedes-Benz tried to compete with ne plus ultra cars like the Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls Royce Phantom. In the ten years that the Maybach was produced, Daimler sold about 3,000 of them, about how many Phantoms Rolls-Royce sells in a year.

The German automaker is still going after those brands, but at a lower price point. Starting in 2015, the so-called ‘Super S Class’, as it is known internally, will instead compete with the Rolls-Royce Ghost and the Bentley Flying Spur, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in an interview with Automotive News. Currently, M-B’s most expensive cars are its higher performance AMG models, which can run close to $200K, and Zetsche says that the new sedan will give the company a larger market share in that price segment independent of AMG branded cars.

One of the complaints about the Maybach was that it was not perceived as being sufficiently different from the S Class cars to justify the large price differential. Zetsche said that the new car will have exclusive technology and interior appointments to differentiate it from regular S Class models. Since all automaker in the segment do it, it is likely that some kind of personalization program, for ‘off the menu’ options, will be offered. Zetsche also said that the company will have a “much better cost basis” for the new high end car, compared to the Maybach.

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  • Wsn Wsn on Jul 29, 2013

    There is simply not enough profit to be made in this tiny market. It's only for the CEO's ego. If MB is really good, why not build an S class that can beat Lexus LS and BMW 7? Right now the S doesn't have any advantage in the US market.

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    • Wsn Wsn on Jul 30, 2013

      @VenomV12 Over the 10 years of Maybach production(that's the context of this debate, i.e. MB can't build a vastly superior S class and thus had to use different label), Lexus LS occupied the most top sales spots. Even for 2012, the S class beat BMW 7 by 700 units only (11,794 vs 11,098). The difference is purely market noise. No one could tell which car is superior just by looking at the figures. Yeah, there is the end of cycle blah blah. Just FYI, Lexus sold 35,226 LS in the US in 2007. That's the first full year of 4th gen, there has only been minor updates since then, i.e. no 5th gen yet. Will the new S reach 30k+ in the US in the coming year? I don't believe it until I see it.

  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Jul 30, 2013

    It will have two hood ornaments when all the other luxury autos make do with just one.

  • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 30, 2013

    Don't underestimate the importance of this move. As Mercedes continues to move down market in the name of volume they are going to need something to maintain the exclusivity of the brand to hold prices up. In detroitspeak this would be a "halo car". I drove by a Mercedes dealer in Columbus GA and noticed they had numbers with the price stuck to the windshield and balloons attached to the cars like any screaming Kia dealer. This is not your father's Benz. While the volume move will work in the short term, in the long term they won't be able to hold prices up years down the line. Younger people are going to remember riding in unremarkable cars that spent a lot of time in the service bay and shop elsewhere. A car like this, done properly can spawn a brand that is loyal to the values of the core Mercedes customer. This of course assumes it is done right and not simply a means to mark up an existing vehicle astronomically. The comments of Dr. Z are not encouraging in this respect.

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    • Hubcap Hubcap on Jul 30, 2013

      @hreardon I think they might be in a better overall position than BMW on account of their commercial vehicle business.

  • Thornmark Thornmark on Jul 30, 2013

    Historians say the British "Royals" are largely German, as are Rolls and Bentley. Maybe Daimler should buy back the rights to Daimler: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daimler_Company "England's oldest car marque." Ford gets into vibrators: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/07/ford-shifter/