Maybach Fails to Dent the Lead of Rolls Bentley Businessweek

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Maybach 57 Zeppelin

Maybach Fails to Dent the of Rolls, Bentley

December 16,

By Chris Reiter and Mike

(Bloomberg) — Rick Teague is one the future of Daimler AG’s super-luxury Maybach brand is in

The 53-year-old Texan had his pick of vehicles like Rolls-Royce and when he bought his new ride in The Maybach didn’t get a second

The Maybach looks way too close to a to spend that kind of said Teague, who owns a company and opted for a Bentley GT. I was looking for a combination of sport, luxury in a coupe. I don’t the Maybach had anything really

Maybach, with models at $358,000, is failing to mount a to Bayerische Motoren Werke (BAMXY:US) Rolls-Royce and Volkswagen Bentley. The struggle weighs on Germany-based Daimler because may reflect on Mercedes- Benz and Chief Executive Officer Zetsche’s efforts to challenge BMW as the top luxury-car maker.

Daimler aimed to sell than 1,000 a year it reintroduced the 1930s-era marque in Businessman Donald Trump has as does singer Madonna. sales topped out at 600 cars in and sagged to 300 last year. sold more than vehicles in 2008, and Bentley,

Shutting down Maybach may be the option, said Wes Brown, an analyst at Iceology Inc. in Los

The destiny of that brand is in question, Brown said. The really never achieved the results they wanted it to even at the height of conspicuous

Zeppelin EditionZetsche said is committed to the Maybach brand.

We no long-term decisions on Maybach at time, he said in an interview 14 in Abu Dhabi. We have proven for this segment, we can build second to none and that was what we wanted to accomplish.

plans to update the Maybach 57 and 62 next year with emissions and newer electronics. The will be a little more yet remain understated in keeping the Maybach philosophy, Mercedes-Benz Christoph Horn said. The edition, introduced in April and to 100 vehicles, has sold out, he

Maybe they can stretch it year and a half and do a final and be done with it, said Stuermer, an analyst at IHS Global Inc. in Frankfurt. The most way to handle this is if they somebody in the industry, a small who is working on a super-luxury vehicle and just give the brand to

Investment NeedsEven if the current have a long lifecycle, would have to start the next generation this which would take €500 million ($726 of investment, Stuermer said. doesn’t break out expense or figures for Maybach.

In the meantime, the of Maybach dealers in the U.S. 40 percent to 50 percent of the cars are has dropped to about 40 from 85 in

We are able to focus the distribution on strategically important locations and be more effective, Daimler Verena Mueller said.

The Zeppelin boasts the world’s car-interior perfume atomizer, a with two scents developed by leader Givaudan SA (GVDNY) of which supplies Christian SA. Maybach, which offers than 2 million combinations of leather and accessories, also an open-top Landaulet that at €900,000.

Lamborghini, FerrariMaybach in the ultra-luxury segment of cars at more than €200,000. IHS Insights predicts 4,265 sales of such cars year, down 23 percent 2008. That’s a market at more than $1.5 if the top sellers, Lamborghini’s Murcielago, the 599 and the Rolls-Royce Phantom, are used for the

In what the consultant calls the class of cars valued at to €200,000, sales are projected to 27 percent this year to 16,000 vehicles.


To promote Daimler organizes a golf and sponsors a winter polo in the Swiss resort town of St It recently had contemporary-art photographer LaChapelle take pictures of the

Maybach 57 Zeppelin

I don’t see the strategy, said Ellinghorst, an automotive analyst at Suisse in London. They either grow it or close it.

one estimate, Daimler may have to 10,000 Maybachs—four times the number on the road now—to the €500 million in development projected by Stuermer for the next-generation That’s assuming Maybach Daimler’s goal for its Mercedes-Benz of a 10 percent operating profit and that the average car sells for with all customizations included.

Contribution’Daimler declined to comment on profit margins and said in an statement that every sold will make a toward covering costs.

The history dates to Wilhelm an engineer who helped Gottlieb develop engines for the first Wilhelm and son Karl made as well as luxury vehicles as the Zeppelin in the 1920s and 1930s. The of 1,800 original Maybachs was in 1941.

Daimler decided to revive in 1998 under then-CEO the failed merger with The goal was to compete with BMW and Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen in motor cars after acquisition of the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Maybach also was intended as a for the best of Mercedes-Benz technology.

Maybach, Daimler possesses the with the greatest mystique said Helmut Hoffmann, Club president in Germany. will never again with this brand.

Brown isn’t so sure.

LuxuryThe Maybach is a stealthy, kind of luxury vehicle, he There is always a contingent of who prefer to be much more about their wealth, but the is with those consumers who to flaunt their wealth.

status-symbol cars like owned by Fiat SpA (FIATY:US), and a VW brand, are also outpacing Lamborghini made 2,430 last year, and Ferrari’s advanced 2 percent to 6,587

Competitors have increased on Maybach with new models. has the Ghost, a smaller complement to the Bentley launched the two-seater and the top of the line Mulsanne, which a leather-covered steering wheel takes as many as 45 hours to by hand.

Maybach looks like a version of the top-end Mercedes-Benz which detracts from dominant brand, said Jim principal of auto consulting 2953 Analytics in Detroit.

diminished Mercedes while having the stuff to match Bentley, much less said Hall. They Maybach and took Mercedes a notch.

Maybach 57 Zeppelin
Maybach 57 Zeppelin
Maybach 57 Zeppelin
Maybach 57 Zeppelin
Maybach 57 Zeppelin

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