MAYBACH test drive...

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My guts tell me that the CLS will not be a huge success for the company. I think that most CLS buyers would have bought another Mercedes, if the CLS would not have been launched. Okay, maybe Mercedes can earn some additional money, because a CLS is more expensive than an E-class.
Frank
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I do not want to argue with you, but what exactly is the current Maybach other than a top-end Mercedes?
Given the fact that most prospective Maybach buyers are quite old, I think the Maybach 57 is too big for them to drive it on their own. I would suggest that Maybach launches a 4 seat convertible, soon. This may sell better than the sedans (but not 15.000 units)
Frank
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"Thomas J. Paladino Jr." wrote:

DC of course can afford the Maybach brand never ever to become profitable - the other brands (and here esp. Mercedes) earn enough money.
A problem the Maybach brand has is the cars are too few in nterms of sales numbers to establish them in the public, so they have to have a model selling so good that it makes at least a slight public presence in countries like Germany.
Another problem is that the brand is _too_ exclusive and at the same time unknown so potential buyers hesitate to jump to it - unknown not in Germany, but in many other countries: Maybach does not really have a _soul_ or brand identity at present, they still have to built it up as the glorious days of the brand are too long ago now (last Maybach was built until 1941).
Now having a model like the Maybach 53 - starting at around 200.000 Euro - would solve those problems and also catch buyers who would never pay 350.000 and more Euro for a Maybach, but are willing to spend more than the 150.000 or so Euro for a MB S 600 L.
Also the 53 is a bit smaller than a 57, giving it the sometimes decisive edge in crowded European cities and parking lots and at the same time not having the _impact_ as the 57 - not to speak of the 62 here...
Plus the amateurs at DC simply did not think about a simple fact: A Maybach 57 with a length of 5728 mm simply is too long for most German/ European garages and multi-storey car parks (being typically no more than ca. 5500 mm) - this is one of the things where you can easily notice the leading guys at DC have no car knowledge at all (with the 62 length is of no importance in that respect, that is no owner-driver car but a chauffeured limo - the 53 will be below 5500 mm).

They will not downgrade the MB brand - it is just the other way round, after _only_ some 10 years or so they now begin slowly to realize they have to try to return to the MB quality of the past. Also the next S-Class (W221 for 2005) will have some styling elements of the current Maybachs (especially th the rear), trying to close the gap from Mercedes to Maybach a bit and at the same time lowering the fear of some buyers about buying and owning a Maybach - having a brand which stands out too far from the rest is not always of advantage, especially not in countries like Germany where you not so seldom get negative comments and/or looks already when showing up in a new S-Class or SL...

As said that is what DC hoped - but IMHO that is no real advantage, it is more of a disadvantage (sticking out too far).

The point is Mercedes failed to have cars in the 150.000+ Euro region - they DO need to cover the region until 250.000 Euros, but they haven't realized it yet, no wonder, the CEOs are no car guys but ordinary loudmouths only.

Once they made the mistake of re-introducing the Maybach brand - and that was controversial a long time, we can see this simply by the fact late prototypes still had the Mercedes grille and were named _Mercedes Maybach_, they decided against to not to make the S-Class owners feel inferior, the S-Class should stay the top-of-the-line MB - the move with the Maybach 53 seems ok to me, but I doubt it will boost sales really much. To establish the Maybach brand DC will need _at least_ 10 years, 15 (or even 20) is more likely and within that timeframe they have to quadruple their sales efforts: What they do now is the old and well-known snobbish _We are MB, we have the very best cars and they sell alone_-attitude - which is nothing but amateurish only.
And also prospective buyers realize DC does not really stand behind the Maybach brand - there is only three service points for Maybachs in Germany, Stuttgart, Berlin and Munichm, means that in this country with more than 80-million people Maybachs have to be hauled around by truck for hundreds of kilometers for simple service - ridiculous!!
There is a similarity with the old Horch brand which is owned by Audi (and thus Volkswagen AG): Years ago Audi re-bought the brand name and all the rights, but Mr. Piech of Volkswagen - a man not undisputed, but an extremely knowledgeable car guy - decided against re-viatalizing the brand, but later simply bought Bentley, a brand which - unlike Maybach - was present in the last 63 years (last original Maybach dates back to 1941) and well-known all over the world - Maybach was a brand mostly unkown outside Germany resp. Europe.
I personally would not have re-launched the Maybach brand, there are too many problems involved in that like drawing away too much manpower from the Mercedes brand plus many, many hundreds of millions of Euro cost (if not billions).
Ok, we now look forward to the next DC adventure, the B-Class, a VW Golf-class(!) competitor: How on earth can one give a car a name shouting out loud _this is no first class product, but a second-rate product only like a B-movie is_??? ============:-(((((((((
Juergen
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ACK. 40 years ago Mercedes launched the Mercedes 600 and proved that they can compete with the top brands of the world. Why launch another brand which does not naturally sound superior to Mercedes?
Frank
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Why do you think that Merc needs a car in the EUR 250K bracket? To compete on price with Bentley?
It's very strange. The S-Class was widely acclaimed as the best saloon in the world (not the most expensive), and the management just let it go. Yes, maybe that arrogance, or hubris. It's still good, obviously, but it does not seem to have quite that cachet that it did.
BTW, to me the word Maybach seems to 'Germanic' and not so suitable for the English-speaking markets at which it is principally aimed. Well, maybe they were happy to emphasize 'German quality', just as a number of companies in Asia sport German names, even though they have no connection with Germany/Austria/CH.
The name doesn't have a ring to it, either, like Daimler or Mercedes...and is not evocative like Jaguar...
DAS
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If Cadillac decided to launch a super-limo under the brand name "Duesenberg", do you think this would work?
Frank
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Good question!
At least ...berg does not end with the guttural chhhh...
DAS
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PS. Let's see what the Americans will say.
Maybe we should post the question on the Cadillac/GM NG...?...
DAS
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