Mercedes Revives Maybach Name to Challenge Rolls-Royce


i3z6S_6bGCpUMercedes-Benz is reviving the Maybach name for a second time to challenge Rolls-Royce and Bentley for the world’s wealthiest auto buyers. Maybach, a 1930s-era marque, will become the ultra-luxury sub-brand of Mercedes, offering more spacious and opulent adaptations of cars like the S-Class sedan. The first vehicle in the rollout will debut later this month.

“The customer gets the best our house has to offer,” Ola Kaellenius, sales chief of the Daimler AG (DAI) unit, said at an event today near Stuttgart, Germany. “I’m confident and optimistic that Maybach will be successful on the market.”

Mercedes is reversing a 2011 decision to end production of Maybach as part of a broader makeover of branding at Mercedes. Under a plan to rename its sport-utility vehicles, roadsters and coupes starting next year, the M-Class SUV becomes the GLE.

“They are cleaning up past mistakes that they allowed to produce chaos,” said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler. “It’s a good and logical move.”

With Mercedes seeking to leap from third to No. 1 in global luxury-car sales, the moves play catchup to rivals. BMW AG and Volkswagen AG (VOW) are already active in the ultra-luxury segment with the Rolls-Royce and Bentley brands, respectively, while BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi also clearly distinguish SUVs from their mainline sedans and wagons.  SEE MORE ON PAGE 2

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