Germany's Daimler is reportedly weeks away from deciding the fate of its struggling Maybach brand. According to US industry paper Automotive News, two options are on the table: close the ultra-luxury brand down, or outsource production to Aston Martin.
Development and production of a second-generation Maybach hinges on the decision, with the current Maybach 57 and 62 limousines now nearly 10 years old.
Speaking in Germany, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is understood to have said that there is a "higher likelihood" of a new Maybach if a production partner is locked in.
The report adds that Daimler has entered talks with Aston Martin that would see the British carmaker take on production of future Maybach cars at its Gaydon plant in the UK - where it also produces its DB(X), Vantage and Rapide models.
As part of the deal, Aston would reportedly benefit from the use of Daimler engines and platforms for AM future models - possibly signalling an end to its own in-house engine development.
Zetsche reportedly added that Daimler's initial $1billion cost to re-launch Maybach in 2002 was "not a good investment for a small-volume vehicle".
Sales for the million-dollar limo have never been strong. The company had forecast 1500 annual sales globally, with 500 of them in the US. Last year however, just 157 Maybachs found their way to American homes.