It has been rumored all year, but is now confirmed: Maybach gets the chop in 2013.
Chief executive, Dieter Zetsche told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an article published on its website last Friday that the ailing luxury limousine producer would disappear in two years time. That's the same time frame as for the launch of the next generation S-class; Zetsche suggested its range could be double to six models and there has been speculation that the Pullman moniker might be resurrected for a trio of S-Class models to top the range.
Revived in 2002 to take on Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Maybach has never fared particularly well. It did find some customers in the Middle East and China, but never gained sales traction in Europe and the U.S. for its near $400,000 saloons.
Total sales since launch are only about 3000 compared to the 2711 that Rolls-Royce sold in 2010 and the 5000 Bentleys sold in the same year.
Zetsche's announcement also puts to rest speculation that a deal was being struck with Aston Martin to design and assemble the next generation of Maybachs. This was seen as part of a wider arrangement whereby the British sports car maker would have access to Mercedes (AMG) power train and M-Class running gear for its proposed Lagonda SUV first seen at the Geneva Auto Show in 2009.