Daimler pulls plug on ultra-luxury brand Maybach

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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While Daimler, parent company for Mercedes-Benz and the Smart brand of city cars, hasn't officially announced an end to its ultra-luxury Maybach brand, the release of its 2013 price list could be taken as a not so subtle hint that it plans to kybosh the once revered nameplate soon. Next to the name of each 2013 model is simply stated, "Discontinued".

It's not the first time the brand ended production. After becoming one of Germany's most respected luxury marques, the company was forced to produce tank engines instead of cars during World War II and never restarted car production after the war ended. Maybach was relaunched to much fanfare at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, by no less than Jay Leno and the granddaughter of company founder Wilhelm Maybach, the latter of which helped to design the very first Mercedes-Benz in 1901.

Two models were immediately available, the 57 and 62, the latter offering rear accommodations that were compared to the interior of a corporate jet, but despite its cars' quality and opulence the brand has continually struggled to capture the number of buyers that ultra-luxury rivals Rolls-Royce and Bentley have, which incidentally are owned by Daimler competitors BMW and Volkswagen respectively.

So how will Daimler compete within the top level of luxury without Maybach? The company's Mercedes-Benz division will soon offer a special version of its S-Class flagship sedan dubbed S600 Pullman, after the famed Pullman limousines of the past. Whether these cars will offer the level of luxury Maybach customers have become accustomed to is not known, but these customers will have the opportunity to optimize fuel economy as a four-cylinder turbo-diesel model will reportedly be part of the engine lineup, along with the expected V8 and V12 powerplants.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Luxury Sedan, Maybach, 62, 57, 57 S, $99,999+,

Organizations: Daimler

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