...Auf wiedersehen, goodnight. Daimler's hopes of finding a production partner for Maybach look to have been dashed, and new reports out of Europe suggest the brand will soon be shuttered.
According to German paper Fankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche has confirmed that the company no longer has a need for the ultra-luxury marque, pointing to the upcoming S-Class as the ideal replacement.
"It would not make sense to develop a successor model”, the paper quoted Zetsche in an interview. "The coming S-Class is in such a way a superior vehicle that it can replace the Maybach."
While the upcoming S-Class should have the space and features to replace the Maybach models, it remains to be seen if the world's mega-wealthy will choose a Mercedes over the venerated Rolls-Royce badge.
"There are currently about 90,000 ultra-high net-worth individuals and in 10 years we expect this to grow to 125,000. That fact alone makes me optimistic about our prospects," Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller Oetvoes told industry paper Automotive News Europe.
Just 157 Maybach cars were sold last year, compared to a record 2711 sales for rival BMW's Rolls-Royce brand. Mueller-Oetvoes expects that figure to grow beyond 10,000 in the future.
To compete, Mercedes will reportedly offer the new S-Class in more variants than ever before, including a super-long version of about six metres - a huge 800mm beyond the current long-wheelbase offering.
If that's not enough, a 6.8 metre "Pullman" version will face off against the longest offering in the Rolls-Royce Phantom range, which measures 6091mm.
“Mercedes is now mounting the attack in the high-end segment. We have always dominated this segment and that should continue to be the case. We don’t want to wait until the others pull ahead," Zetsche said.