Daimler claims Maybach is not losing money but sales fell significantly over 2008Enlarge Photo
Despite the global economic crisis, no customers have canceled their Maybach orders but sales last year were still down on 2007’s levels. Maybach sold just over 400 vehicles in 2007 but this dropped to 300 vehicles last year, with the United States once again accounting for the bulk of sales.
"There is no visible impact of the financial crisis," Maybach's product and portfolio manager, Thorsten Lenz, told Automotive News
. "We have a good order base that will last for a few months."
While Lenz’s comments appear to be peachy, the truth remains that Maybach’s sales are far below capacity, as the company’s assembly plant in Germany has the capability to churn out up to 2,000 vehicles per year. There are also no new models in the pipeline and closest rivals Rolls-Royce and Bentley have both experienced sales levels that almost triple Maybach’s figures.
Despite the gloom, there is some support for Maybach from within Daimler
, the ultra-luxury marque’s parent company. According to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, the brand won’t return a positive return on investment but that “it doesn’t matter” because it has proven that it can compete with Rolls-Royce and Bentley. The other positive is that development costs for Maybach were relatively low because both the 57 and 62 models are largely based on the last-generation Mercedes S-Class. Zetsche also claimed that the brand won’t be axed as it was not losing money.