Sometime ago there was news that Daimler was considering a partnership with Aston Martin in order to keep the brand afloat. This could be in terms of platform sharing (with the upcoming Aston Martin ‘Lagonda’ models) in order to save cost as well as some good publicity as Aston Martin seem to be on a roll when it comes to making luxury cars work (and the fact that BMW owns Rolls Royce and VW owns Bentley – which limits any collaboration with these German companies).
But now there is talk reported by Automotive News Europe that Daimler will choose one of three options sometime in the next month or so. The first being the one mentioned above, the second to throw in the towel and discontinue the Maybach brand and lastly, to demote it into a sub-brand of Mercedes Benz. This third option would make Maybach somewhat like the AMG model Mercedes Benzes. Instead of a all out performance Mercedes Benz AMG model, there would be a Mercedes Benz Maybach model.
Quite good I say, but I think the main problem with the current crop of Maybach models is that they look too much like a Mercedes Benz S-Class that has been added extra wheelbase and a two tone paintjob for the exterior and added cow and wood trim for the interior. As such, a Maybach is basically a tarted-up Mercedes Benz S-class instead of an ostentatious, loud, blingy, massive symbol of success like a Rolls Royce Panthom or a Bentley Brooklands.
It seems that people like Corinthian Pillars for grilles instead of an understated S-class grille. People also like their super expensive cars to look like ceremonial carriages instead of a stealth fighter. This is the real problem of Maybach. It isn’t loud, massive or has any road presence at all. Some want to flaunt their success No, MOST want to flaunt their success. If it was the other way round, Rolls Royce would have been bust by now.
For an example, when Pagani entered the supercar market it created the Zonda. This was a car that was as loud or louder than a Lamborghini in terms of design. Take a look at the interior of a Zonda and you will get what I mean. They need to produce a Maybach like the concept Maybach Excelero (pictured below) instead of a more luxurious S-class; while handsome looking, isn’t ceremonial or grand enough for some. In short, Maybach needs to be more ‘in-your-face’ when it comes to styling.
The moral of this story is that if you want to take over from the big boys, you have got to outgun them in the first place. It’s like making a Transformers sequel. The sequel has got to be bigger than the one before. The formula is as simple as that.