Autos

Mercedes CEO: Maybach S-Class to take brand to “the next level”


Mercedes’ is fully committed to expanding its Maybach sub-brand, CEO Ola Kallenius has confirmed, despite the broader pressures of streamlining its wider line-up and ensuring profitability in a difficult marketplace.

Maybach launched its first SUV, the GLS Maybach late last year and already offers a version of the S-Class. The new S-Class, launched today, will also receive a Maybach version in future, which Kallenius described as taking the sub-brand to “the next level”.

When asked if he plans to leverage Maybach as a separate brand, Kallenius commented: “The short answer is yes. Maybach has potential and we’re intending to exploit that potential. It is our sub-brand for sophisticated luxury. Since we’ve reintroduced it, using the AMG playbook, focusing on sophisticated luxury rather than performance, we have had a great deal of success.”

He continued: “We have just launched Maybach GLS and we have had a tremendous customer response – finally an SUV with S-Class captain seats in the back and all those bells and whistles for that sophisticated luxury rather than in-your-face luxury.”

Alongside Maybach versions of its more mainstream models, there’s also the possibility that the sub-brand will consider even lower-volume, higher-margin variants in future.

When asked if axing coupe and cabriolet versions of the S-Class gives an opportunity for more niche models to appear under the Maybach badge, Kallenius commented: “Whatever you do from a business point of view must hit the sweet spot between cutbacks and volume and returns. We are car lovers through and through but also have a very sharp pencil in our back pocket.

“Depending on the architecture, depending on the derivative, or whether it’s a special edition of something, if it makes economical sense, then yes, we would do it.”

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