The ultra-luxury and exotic market is highly lucrative if you approach it the right way. Even with a heavy global economic downturn sales didn’t collapse, and at the first signs of recovery they are beginning to show strong growth.
Rolls-Royce and Bentley are two manufacturers that have been a beneficiary of this, thanks to strong investment from their parent companies BMW and VW, respectively. The new Ghost at Rolls-Royce is increasing sale significantly, and throughout the past decade the Continental lineup has powered Bentley’s figures to new heights.
Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach entry, on the other hand, hasn’t met the same success. Plucking a obscure brand name Maybach from out of nowhere turned out to be an ill-advised idea.
The question is what to do now? The Maybach name has been established as a luxury marque, but new product is needed to move forward. Does Mercedes try again or abandon the project altogether, in an embarrassing corporate retreat?
According to Automotive News, that question is being debated at Mercedes. The future of Maybach likely is going to be between killing the brand or partnering with Aston Martin on a new model.
Mercedes has been in discussions with Aston Martin on jointly-developing a new luxury sedan model for quite some time. It would be a beneficial partnership, as Aston Martin would be able to secure the purchase of Mercedes V-8 and V-12 engines, along with seven-speed automatic transmissions for future models.
A concept for the next-generation car has been developed and a decision about the brand’s future will reportedly be made on July 1st. Hopefully we’ll hear some news about the decision quickly after it happens. Maybach’s future likely depends on the deal with Aston Martin, as Daimler seems to be reticent about developing a second-generation model alone. Pretty understandable too, after it was burned badly on its investment; Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said the current car cost over $1 billion to develop.