Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH (IPA: [?ma?.bax]), founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach with his son Karl Maybach as director. The company was originally a subsidiary of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin/GmbH and was itself known as "Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH" (literally Airship Engine Company) until 1918. The company originally developed and manufactured diesel and gas engines for Zeppelins and later, large and luxurious automobiles. It also contributed to the Wehrmacht war effort by producing the engines for the formidable Panther and Tiger tank.
The company has historic roots through the involvement of its founder who was the technical director of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (Daimler Motor Company). Today, the brand is owned by DaimlerChrysler and based in Stuttgart. Between 1921 and 1940, the company produced various classic opulent vehicles. The company also built heavy duty diesel engines for marine and rail purposes.
In 1997, Mercedes-Benz presented at the Tokyo Motorshow an ultra-luxury concept car under the name Mercedes-Benz Maybach (V12, 5987 cc, 550 hp). The concept was quite successful and it was decided to develop it. Mercedes however made the decision to market the car under the sole brand Maybach.
Maybach was therefore revived as a brand in the early 2000s, with the production of the new model in two sizes — the Maybach 57 and the Maybach 62 (the numbers are equal to the lengths of the automobiles in decimetres; the longer 62 allows rear occupants to recline fully in their seats). The prices range from US$305,000 to $357,000. In 2005, the new 57S was added, sporting a more powerful engine (6.0L V12 bi-turbo, producing 604bhp and 737lbft of torque) and cosmetic touches that provides a sporty image.
When customers decide to order a Maybach they can go to Sindelfingen, the marque’s headquarters, (or meet over a video conference centre at a dealer in their own country) to specify every and any detail they desire. Many customers will personalise their cars with their initials or coats of arms. Maybach executives liken the experience to ordering a custom-built yacht or a personalized jet aircraft. Also, with a hand-crafted finish quality, and over two million equipment options, it is unlikely that two identical cars will ever leave the factory.
The Maybach's main competitor is the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Given that most Maybach owners are chauffeured, owners especially appreciate the Maybach's highly adjustable rear seats with seat warmers, seat coolers, and massage features, none of which can be found in the Rolls Royce. Some have noted that Maybach's superior focus on occupant comfort highlights the difference between their respective creators, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, with BMW being more driver focused, and Mercedes being more comfort/luxury focused.
Three new models are expected, a 4-seat coupe derived from the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, an ultra-luxury crossover SUV derived from the GL-Class, and a smaller sedan, which would be sold for $250,000.