Wednesday, April 6, 2011


by Octavia Mettenheimer


Maybach is a German automobile company and is a part of the Daimler group. Its history starts with the birth of Wilhelm Maybach on February 9th 1846 in Heilbronn, Germany. Since his parents died very early; he was very lucky as a society founded by Gustav Werner took care of him. The foundation cared for orphans and disabled children and additionally gave them the possibility to visit school, a very generous treatment for that time. When he was 15 years old, the educators took note of his talents in drawing and in handling technical issues. They decided to give him the possibility to attend college in town.

With 19 years he met Daimler as his new chief. Their relation was immediately very strong and both profited from it. After working successfully for years with Daimler he finally got his chance to prove himself fully when Daimler decided to found his own business in 1882. In 1890 it was Maybach’s vision that lead to the development of the first car meant for personal transport only, the “Steel Wheel Wagon”. The automobile was born. The reward for the now 45 years old men was his nomination to be the “King of engineers” in the world.

But it was his son Karl who produced the first Maybach car in 1921. Already back then it was the most luxurious automobile available. Maybach became the impersonation for luxury automobiles. The double “M” logo is used again today.

In 1997 the rebirth of this amazing brand was announced. Daimler decided to revive it to start its own luxury brand in the car industry. The “center of excellence” in Sindelfingen, Germany is taking care of all the extra wishes and adjustments demanded by the customers.

The basic model, the 57 is an amazing automobile offering you every kind of luxury you could wish for. But not only the interior design is stunning, also its engine- what Maybach is originally known for- is of exceptional quality. Although it has a weight of 2.735 kg, which is about 400 kg more then a fully-grown SUV, it is quicker then a Porsche 911 measured from 0-100. It reaches a top speed of 250 km/h. The finest materials are used to satisfy every nerve and sense in the interiors. The price does not hide this effort with a price around 360.00 Euros.

The 62 is, although it seems hardly possible, an even better version of the 57. It is longer, the engine has more power and its interiors can easily be compared to the ones of a private jet.

I have to mention that Maybach had some real problems to sell these two cars. One of the main reasons is that the critics don’t see an emancipated design but rather a copy and imitation of the Mercedes S-class. I believe the people were not aware of the strong historical relation between Daimler and Maybach and therefore felt that the designers were using the common design for the wrong reasons.

A strong hint that the design is the major problem is, that the tuning company “Xenatec” is producing a “Maybach Coupé”. What is amazing is, that Xenatec could sell 100 of those coupes in just one year and with Maybach only selling 200 cars a year they make 50% of the sales business. The response to the Coupe is far better then to the real thing, people are even willing to pay about 200.000 Euros more for the redesigned version.

The ambiguity of their relation is somehow amusing. On the one hand the original producers support the product as all guarantees are kept and all the services remain, however Xenatec is not allowed to put the Maybach emblem anywhere.

Especially interesting is also if we are talking about the company’s success and how it was copied regarding the Exelero. It was originally a test car by Maybach and a wheel production company. However its design was so famous that by now even two companies offer a replica of exactly that car.

Stola is the company by which the original Exelero was built. They rebuilt and call it the Phalcon Coupe. It has been produced only 25 times with a price around 600.000 Euro. The strangest fact about this copy is most of the pages you will find state that the actual Maybach Exelero is for sale.

Recently, also a Suisse company the Lamborghini Geneva announced to rebuild the Exelero.

It seems ironic that the copy has such a big price and is itself produced a limited version of only 25 exemplar.

Compared to the two main competitors Bentley and Rolls Royce a clear difference can be made. If we talk about luxury it also means exclusiveness. Where as Rolls Royce and Bentley might be more profitable it also means that they are sold in much bigger amounts each year, are seen quite often and are not that special anymore. A Maybach does not need to be pretentious it will still leave an impression- at least because of its one of a kind coloring.

If you take a look inside you will see the further differences immediately. Not only do you have over 2 million choices to personalize your car, but also the choices include highly luxurious and innovative features.

But as always it does not only matter how amazing the product is, it needs to be communicated in the right way. Maybach’s marketing strategy is a very subtle one, they decided it would be the best if they would try to have direct contact with their target market. They established that in a simply way, by being at the same events as their possible customers.

The nicest treatment however do you get when you are ordering a car. If you have your own there is the personal liaison manager taking care of everything you need him to.

What makes the company very likable too me is that they never forgot that their original founder was an orphan. The Wilhelm & Karl Maybach foundation is following a similar concept as the Gustav Werner foundation did, to support young talents and leaders.

My conclusion about Maybach is that the company is producing excellent products and that all the promises they give are held. However their communication concept needs to be improved.

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