The legendary mark of quality defining unrivalled automotive exclusivity has acquired renewed splendour: two intersecting Ms in a spherical triangle form the insignia of Maybach Manufaktur, the new high-end luxury car brand from the DaimlerChrysler Group. After an absence of over 60 years, it is comeback time in March 2002 at the 72nd Geneva Motor Show.
The striking "M" emblem is steeped in tradition. For two decades - between 1921 and 1941 – this badge adorned some very special cars, which lined up alongside Mercedes Saloons in the elite echelon of German vehicle manufacture.
Outstanding styling, status, flawlessness and technical mastery gave the range of majestic Maybach Saloons and Cabriolets - whose flagship "Zeppelin" model was some 5.5 metres in length and ranked as one of the most prestigious German cars of its time - quite a reputation. A brochure on the luxury car brand produced in 1934 described its products as "cars of the greatest elegance and strength which you would give your last wish to own". DaimlerChrysler felt an obligation to live up to the billing.
With over 100 years of experience and technical expertise in the development and production of luxurious saloons through its Mercedes-Benz brand, the Daimler-Chrysler Group was in the ideal position to revive the Maybach name. The plan to build a high-end luxury car with the Maybach badge hinged on close cooperation with Mercedes-Benz. Maybach's sister company is a leading figure in the development of innovations and sets standards in terms of safety, quality, reliability and durability. The new Maybach can only benefit from this technological head start.
Pioneering state-of-the-art technology coupled with unparalleled prestige
Mercedes-Benz and Maybach were Germany's foremost luxury car brands in the 1920s and 30s, and a return to this status quo looks to be on the cards for the years to come.
The future will see the two brands advancing hand-in-hand under the umbrella of the Daimler-Chrysler Group: Mercedes-Benz – the technological pace-setter and the world's most successful manufacturer of premium cars in high-growth market segments and Maybach – the brand for first-class, extremely individual, high-end luxurious and prestigious saloons, which combine technical perfection with innovative Mercedes technology.
The symbiosis of ground-breaking Mercedes developments with the exclusivity and individuality you expect from the Maybach name has again conjured up an automotive gem of peerless stature - the ultimate in automotive construction.
Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler - automotive pioneers
Mercedes-Benz and Maybach have always had a great deal in common. Wilhelm Maybach, a long-time companion of Gottlieb Daimler and director of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG), was the spiritual father of the first Mercedes built in 1901, the template for all modern-day passenger cars. For this reason, Maybach was much admired and known as the "king of design".
In 1909 he teamed up with Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin to found "Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH", initially producing power units for the famous Zeppelin air-ships. In 1918 "Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH" spawned "Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH", based in Friedrichshafen on the banks of Lake Constance. Here in 1919 development began of the much talked about Maybach luxury car, under the stew-ardship of Wilhelm Maybach's son Karl. The first test vehicle, the "W 1" was built with a Mercedes chassis.
Years later, Maybach's firm yielded a new company "Motoren- und Turbinen-Únion Friedrichshafen" (MTÚ), which is now part of the MTÚ / Diesel Power Train Únit of DaimlerChrysler.
Two Saloons with luxury fittings give first-class levels of comfort
The combination of cutting-edge technology and tradition has brought the Maybach luxury car brand back to life within the DaimlerChrysler Group and fuelled high expectations for the future. The celebrated name contains a sense of both homage and duty. The target today is as ambitious as ever: to develop the best cars on the market. For the second time in history, Maybach is out to set the stan-dard in the exclusive luxury car segment. It will celebrate its premiere in the autumn of 2002.
There are two variants of this masterpiece to choose from. With the successor to the legendary "Zeppelin", the brand is building on its tradition of creating spacious saloons and presenting a luxury car which opens up a whole series of new dimen-sions. This outstanding vehicle is 6.16 metres in length and has a 3.83-metre wheelbase. The rear passengers enjoy the opulence of individual seats, which they can adjust into an extremely comfortable reclining position with automatically extending leg and foot supports. In the interests of entertainment and information, the rear compartment is also equipped with two flat-screen monitors, which are linked up to the standard-fitted TV receiver and DVD player.
The second Maybach variant, with a 5.72-metre-long body, sets new standards with the range of exclusive fittings it features as standard. It also includes a TV/DVD entertainment system in the rear, Dolby surround sound system, four-zone climate control and multicontour seats for all passengers. One of the hall-marks of the Maybach is its two-tone exterior paintwork - several hundred possible combinations mean each owner can have a totally individual look.
Both model variants are powered by the newly developed 405 kW/ 550-hp "Type 12" Maybach engine. With 5.5-litre displacement, bi-turbocharging and 900 Newtonmetres of torque, this power unit has all the ingredients to deliver superior driving performance, whilst providing the high level of comfort expected of the luxury car brand. The electronically controlled air suspension and high-performance electrohydraulic brake system Twin-Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC™) are further innovations from the Mercedes Technology Centre which set the Maybach apart.
Extensive communication with customers in all corners of the Earth
The aim of the Maybach prestige luxury brand is to establish itself at the top of a small, but highly distinguished market segment, which experts expect to show further potential for growth over the next few years.
Over the course of the last three years the Maybach project team has closely analysed both the future development of the market and the demands and expectations of customers in the luxury car segment. During the development phase, the team invited potential customers from around the world to give them their views. Out of the several hours of conversation that took place came a host of valuable ideas for the design of the Saloon. In other words, Maybach already has an extremely accurate picture of its customers' requirements and is well aware of the demands made on a genuinely superb car in this class.
The Centre of Excellence is the heart of the new luxury car brand
Technical perfection and stylish elegance share top priority with the level of service offered to the extremely demanding customers. As in earlier times at the Maybach company, the customers' requirements still represent the bottom line.
As a rule, a Maybach Saloon is not something one buys from a catalogue and equipment list. The exact make-up and fittings of this luxury car are the result of an extensive exchange of ideas between the customer and the car's designers and engineers. The meeting point for the two groups will be the Centre of Excellence in Sindelfingen, the result of investment from DaimlerChrysler totalling some ten million euros. From the summer of 2002, this is where the heart of the new luxury car brand will beat.
The Centre of Excellence accommodates a Maybach studio over an area of around 2200 square metres. Here, customers can look through a remarkable selection of top-quality materials, exclusive colours, and innovative technical details. This wide variety of exquisite woods, natural stone, fabrics, leathers and other superior items of equipment forms the basis for the extremely personal and unique finish of each and every Maybach Saloon.
Specialist staff at the prestige car maker are in constant communication with the customer in order to realise even more exacting or more detailed requests. With the Centre of Excellence at close proximity to the Mercedes Technology Centre and to Maybach Manufaktur HQ, everything is set up to deliver the best possible expert advice, with almost no limits on the personalisation of finish and fittings of every Maybach.
This means that every Saloon becomes a valuable one-off, characterised exclusively by the personal style and taste of its original owner.
Manufacture aimed at fulfilling the most individual customer requests
Whilst, in years gone by, Maybach's exclusive clientele would have the body of their car constructed as they wanted it by a specialist company, the new-generation luxury Saloon will be assembled in its entirety at the DaimlerChrysler plant in Sindelfingen. The V12 power unit will be built in the engine factory at the Berlin plant, whilst the transmission and axles will be made at the original Mercedes plant in Stuttgart-Únterturkheim.
Hand-craftsmanship in the manufacture of the body and the nature of the assembly process make it possible to incorporate an exceptionally wide variety of individual touches. Maybach customers are kept constantly involved during the period – some four weeks – in which their top-quality car is in production. They can even go to Sindelfingen to witness their Saloon being made, and develop further ideas regarding customised finishes and fittings with manufacturing experts whilst they are there.
Manufacture of the Maybach will be underway in the summer of 2002. Every day up to seven units of the luxury car will be built – each one according to individual customer specifications.
An unprecedented concept for thorough customer service around the clock
At Maybach highly attentive and personal customer service has top priority at every stage – during the ordering process, the production of the car and, above all, after it has been delivered. It was with this in mind that an unprecedented concept was developed which ensures an exceptionally individual, faultless level of service and the fulfilment of the most demanding customer requests.
The Personal Liaison Managers play a key role in customer service. Each manager is responsible for a very small group of Maybach owners, is ready with advice on all issues relating to the car and can also provide assistance in other ways - including organising visits to Maybach Manufaktur, planning vehicle services or booking entry passes for the next Formula 1 race - if the customer requests it. The Personal Liaison Managers can be contacted at any time of the day or night by their customers - all the Maybach owner has to do is press a button on the car telephone keypad.
Maybach centres in three continents
The Maybach brand is set to spread across the globe. The Centre of Excellence in Sindelfingen will be joined by a worldwide network of advice and sales points, which Maybach customers will also be able to use to contact their Personal Liaison Manager.
DaimlerChrysler is building a state-of-the-art Maybach centre on the roof of the "Am Salzufer" Mercedes sales and service outlet in the German capital Berlin, and in Munich the company is likewise constructing an exclusive sales and advice centre for the luxury car brand.
Another ten Maybach centres are planned across Europe - in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Service points for the new automotive brand will also appear outside Europe, for example in the Middle East, Japan, Hong Kong and the Únited States.
Individual customer advice services with innovative new systems
Customers who are not able to come into the Centre of Excellence to finalise the finish and fittings of their Maybach Saloon can use video conference facilities to speak personally to Maybach exerts from the areas of design, technology and manufacturing and be briefed on how things are going. An innovative computer-aided advice system facilitates the presentation and selection of numerous interior trim elements, materials and colours using virtual reality technology. Every Maybach centre across the world will be fitted with this cutting-edge system.
The customer can pick up their luxury car from the Centre of Excellence or a Maybach centre, as they wish.
Global logistics for servicing the Maybach
Maybach has set up some 50 service centres across the world to deal with maintenance and repairs for their cars. Highly qualified experts at the centres are responsible for all technical and logistical aspects concerning the car. They aim to carry out a comprehensive service right down to the last detail, relieving the Maybach owner of all the stress when it comes to inspections or repairs.
Every Maybach will be prepared with the highest level of protection and then transported either by truck or in special sea/air freight containers, depending on what the Personal Liaison Manager has agreed in advance with the customer, from wherever it is in use to the nearest available service outlet. For this reason, the brand has worked with selected partners to develop a worldwide logistics concept which ensures that the vehicles are sent from the customer's location to the service centre and back with the greatest care and speed.
The leading-edge equipment and fittings in the Maybach workshops, including the most efficient diagnosis systems, state-of-the-art tools and specially designed furnishings, comfortably fulfil the expectations placed on this new German luxury car brand. If, however, a technical problem does surprisingly occur, Maybach customers can rely on a highly qualified team of experts, which will be on the spot in a matter of hours in any country and will provide fast and efficient assistance.
Maybach is offering its customers a four-year new-car warranty. Furthermore, mobilo-life, the life-long mobility warranty package from Mercedes-Benz, is also available for the new Maybach Saloon.Source - DaimlerChrysler, 2000-2002