Mercedes Benz announced plans to shut down its ultra-luxury car brand Maybach by 2013 after struggling for a decade to spur the slow sales of the brand's two main models, the Maybach 57 and 62. The brand was adopted by Mercedes parent company Daimler in the early 2000s and has been registering poor sales since then.
Adding to the woes of slow sales, a crucial deal with Aston Martin fell through this year which may have been able to save the luxury car brand by aiding its research and development. A recent marketing study conducted by Mercedes suggested that it would make more sense to leverage the company's S-Class models rather than infusing more cash than it already has into the Maybach brand. After the demise of Maybach, Mercedes will launch the fifth-generation S-Class with three new variants, including the Pullman version.
It does seem like that Mercedes has got all the right reasons to push Maybach into the grave. However, it is not as simple as it looks. Mercedes didn't want the Maybach brand at all in the first place. It was all a part of 'Plan B' for the company, after it failed to take over the Rolls Royce and Bentley brands back in 2002. Rolls Royce was adopted by BMW while Volkswagen acquired Bentley. While both companies seemed to make clever investments in developing the two brands and giving them unique identities; Mercedes failed to endow the Maybach sedans with that special something a super-luxury customer will look for in a product like this. Therefore, despite being competent products the 62 and 57 never managed to set the sales charts on fire.