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Second time is the charm for Maybach

Bach in town: If Mercedes continues to attract the same attention with its returning Maybach range, it will exceed the entire previous model's eight-year sales before 2015 is out.

Mercedes secures 'more than five' local Maybach orders in two months

20 Jul 2015

AFTER a false start in Australia, Mercedes' ultra-luxury sub-brand Maybach is already making a bigger impression the second time around, with “more than five” of the S-Class-based super-sedans ordered since the brand relaunched in May.

If the trend continues, the German car-maker is on track to smash the total number of vehicles sold in eight years, with a meager 13 of the 62 and 57 models finding affluent homes in the brand's first Australian run.

Speaking at the Festival of AMG at Mount Panorama last week, Mercedes-Benz Australia senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy said there were no large-volume expectations for the car but he is pleased with the early signs.

“We don't have double-figure orders but we have more than five orders, which I'm pleased about,” he said. “It's actually at a price point that's pretty competitive and it is now recognised as an extension of S-Class.”

Despite the significant increase in interest over the previous Maybach, Mr McCarthy said he was not surprised at the result of the new arrival.

“When I saw the price I thought 'we are going to do okay with this car' because originally we thought it would be a million bucks again,” he said. “It's got some strong competition but everything about the car makes it very competitive.”

Just one variant is on offer for the time being, with the Mercedes-Maybach S600 kicking off from $449,000 before on-road costs, compared with mighty million-dollar asking price of the discontinued model.

The new model's price represents a $31,500 premium over the comparable Mercedes S600L on which it is based, but is still $41,000 cheaper than the S65 AMG L that sits as the flagship at the top of the S-Class range.

As a large limousine, the Maybach is expected to do well in nations where chauffeur drivers are more commonplace such as China, but Mr McCarthy said the car will also find a good following here despite Australians typically wanting to drive themselves.

“A Maybach has more rear seat-room and a lot of people think a new Maybach owner will want to be chauffeur-driven, but Australians don't much like being driven,” he said.

“The people who have ordered a Maybach will be driving it themselves. Obviously they will sit in the rear seat sometimes and they might use a driver on some occasions, but they will be driving the car themselves.

“They are buying it because when they do ride in the back it's special but they will probably drive it themselves 90 per cent of the time.”

The positive early indication is likely to affect Mercedes' decision whether to expand the revisited Maybach brand and, while nothing has yet been confirmed, an SUV could be the next model to receive the luxury treatment.

“They've talked about applying Maybach to an SUV,” said Mr McCarthy. “Obviously GLS has a few years to run. It will be the next generation if they do it.

“I don't know if there are plans to bring it further down the scale. I would suggest GLS will be the next generation if they do it.”

With its sub-$500,000 showroom price, the Maybach goes up against other European large luxury sedans such close rivals the Audi S8 and BMW 7 Series, as well as other high-end limos such as the Maserati Quattroporte, Jaguar XJR and Flying Spur from Bentley.

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