Maybach history, profile and history video
“Wilhelm Maybach was the inventor of numerous engines and his inventions became landmarks in the history of automotive engineering, making him famous as the “King of engineers”. Wilhelm Maybach’s son, Karl Maybach, continued the family tradition setting new standards in the luxury car sector, making the Maybach marque celebrated and valued by the world’s élite.”
1909–40: Early history
Wilhelm Maybach was technical director of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) until he left in 1907. On 23 March 1909 he founded the new company, Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH (literally “Aircraft Engine Building Company”), with his son Karl Maybach as director. In 1912 they renamed it to Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH (“Maybach Engine Construction Company”). The company originally developed and manufactured diesel and petrol engines for Zeppelins, and then rail cars. Its Maybach Mb.IVa was used in aircraft and airships of World War I.
The company first built an experimental car in 1919, introduced as a production model two years later at the Berlin Motor Show. Between 1921 and 1940, the company produced a variety of opulent vehicles, now regarded as classics. The company also continued to build heavy-duty diesel engines for marine and rail purposes.
During the Second World war, Maybach produced the engines for Nazi Germany’s medium and heavy tanks. The engine plant was one of several industries targeted at Friedrichshafen.
After WW II the factory performed some repair work, but automotive production was never restarted, and some 20 years later, the company was renamed MTU Friedrichshafen. Daimler-Benzpurchased the company in 1960. Post-1960 the company was mainly used to make special editions of Mercedes cars in the W108 and W116 model range, which were virtually hand built. These cars however carried the Mercedes badge and serial numbers.
Daimler presented a luxury concept car at the 1997 Tokyo Motorshow. A production model based on it was introduced in two sizes – theMaybach 57 and the Maybach 62, reflecting the lengths of the automobiles in decimetres. In 2005, the 57S was added, powered by a 6.0L V12 bi-turbo engine producing 450 kW (603 hp) and 1,000 N·m (738 lbf·ft) of torque, and featuring various cosmetic touches.
To promote the new Maybach line, Mercedes-Benz engaged figures such as Maybach heir Ulrich Schmid-Maybach and golfer Nick Faldo, to serve as brand ambassadors.
The base price of a 2009 Maybach 57 was US$344,000; the Maybach 57 S, US$381,000; the Maybach 62, US$394,000; the Maybach 62 S, US$430,000, and the Maybach Landaulet semi-convertible costs just over US$1 million. The Maybach 57 Zeppelin is priced at €406,000 (US$580,000) and the 62 Zeppelin at €473,200 (US$677,000).
Initially, Daimler-Chrysler predicted annual sales of 2,000 worldwide with 50 per cent coming from the United States; however, these expectations never materialized. In 2007, Mercedes bought back 29 US dealers, reducing the total from 71 to 42. In 2010, only 157 Maybachs were sold worldwide, compared to 2,711 similarly priced Rolls-Royces. Just 3,000 have been sold worldwide since the brand was revived in 2002.
Cancellation and the end of Maybach
With poor sales expectations and the heavy impact of the 2008 financial crisis, Daimler AG undertook a complete review of the Maybach division, approaching Aston Martin to engineer and style the next generation of Maybach models along with the next generation ofLagondas. According to Automotive News, only 44 Maybachs had been sold in the U.S. through October 2011.
The line will be replaced by the next-generation of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class due for the 2014 model year, particularly the long wheelbase S-Class Pullman. An executive told a Frankfurt newspaper that Daimler came to the conclusion that the sales chances for the Mercedes brand were better than that of Maybach.”
According to Fortune Magazine, after missing out on the chance to purchase Rolls-Royce and Bentley when they were up for sale in the 1990s, “Mercedes backpedaled and decided it needed to be in the ultra-luxury business too, but it went after it in a remarkably clumsy way”. Fortune stated that the first Maybach models had poor driving dynamics compared to its contemporaries from Rolls-Royce and Bentley, as “Mercedes took an aging S-class chassis and plopped an absurdly elongated body on it … rather than develop a new car from the wheels up, as BMW did with Rolls-Royce, or cleverly use the underpinnings of an existing model like the Volkswagen Phaeton for a new Bentley”. Furthermore, Maybachs were never advertised as owner-driven vehicles, as the company believed that the luxury amenities would be sufficient to sell and they even insisted that auto journalists (who usually test drive the vehicle) ride in the backseat.
Another suggestion for Maybach’s struggles was that parent Daimler had failed to differentiate it from its Mercedes-Benz brand. While all three ultra-luxury marques share platforms and engines with other luxury brands from their parent auto company, Maybachs are built alongside the Mercedes-Benz S-Class flagship sedan, whereas Rolls-Royceand Bentley are assembled in England (separate from the rest of BMW and Volkswagen Group’s production plants), and thus are regarded as being more “exclusive”. Furthermore, the Maybach’s pedigree was virtually unknown outside of Germany, unlike its British rivals which have long enjoyed renown worldwide; indeed the 2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom’s interior evokes memories of a 1930s car while the Maybach 57S’s inside makes no reference to its marque’s history.
In November 2011, Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche announced, that the Maybach-brand will cease to exist in 2012, making room for other models of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The Maybach-limousines will still be sold up to the year 2013, but after that, the name “Maybach” would not be used anymore. On 14 August 2012, parent Daimler AG announced the official discontinuation of Maybach by releasing a pricing sheet officially discontinuing the Maybach 57, 57S, 62, 62S and Landaulet. On 17 December 2012, the last Maybach-vehicle was manufactured in Sindelfingen.
The Maybach brand became a staple of popular culture, with its name being almost synonymous for luxury despite the cessation of operations. The American rapper Rick Rossmade Maybach Music Group the name of his record label, and almost all of his albums have a song named after the car. Maybach Music Group’s logo is based on the Maybach logo.
In June 2014 it was reported that an extra-long, four-passenger Maybach edition of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class would be presented at car shows in Los Angeles and Guangzhou, China, in November 2014 in a potential revival of the Maybach brand.”
*Information from Maybach-manufaktur.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “Alux.com“