The 2008 global financial crisis put an end to the Maybach, the super-exclusive German luxury car whose price tag often topped a million dollars. But the brand’s owner, Daimler AG (FRA:DAI), isn’t ready to bury the top-shelf name completely as it doubles down on luring wealthy customers from Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
A source who asked not to be identified told Bloomberg Thursday that a stretch version of Daimler's recently introduced sixth-generation S-Class sedan will appear at auto shows in Los Angeles and Guangzhou, China, in November.
“It’s great when you hit that first bend [in the road] and realize that this is a level the competition can’t reach,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said during the unveiling of the $172,000 S-Class two-door coupe in Tuscany on Wednesday.
The longer, four-passenger Maybach edition of the S-Class expected out next year seems to be aimed at the Chinese consumer. Luxury car buyers in China prefer longer wheelbases in their full-sized sedans because they often have chauffeurs and like the extra back-seat leg room.
Daimler also said its six-seat Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman limousine, expected out in 2015, will cost as much as double the priciest Rolls-Royce on the market. The 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom costs nearly $500,000, which would put the Pullman at about $1 million. The price includes armor plating, a feature that appeals to customers in this car-buying class – think oil sheiks, rappers, CEOs and world leaders.
The S-Class is aimed at taking market share from Rolls-Royce owner Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (FRA:BMW) and Volkswagen AG (FRA:VOW), which owns Bentley.
Check out the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman spy video captured in January: