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'Super-Mercedes' to rival German Rolls and Bentley

A London brand centre planned by Mercedes-Benz will probably also be the focal point for sales of the Maybach super-luxury saloon. DaimlerChrysler UK expects to receive its first supplies in the spring of 2003. Maybach prices will start at around £250,000. Western Europe, the US and Japan will be the key markets for the Maybach which gives DaimlerChrysler a rival for BMW-owned Rolls-Royce and Volkswagen-owned Bentley. Up to 1,500 Maybachs a year will be built at Sinderfingen, Germany, where a team of Mercedes engineers are developing the model. DaimlerChrysler has chosen a new brand to rival the twin British prestige marques owned by its rivals because the Mercedes brand has been extended to family cars. The two Ms in the Maybach logo originally represented 'Maybach Motorenbau' – now it stands for 'Maybach Manufaktur'. The last new Maybach (pronounced my-back) was sold 60 years ago. Professor Jurgen Hubbert, DaimlerChrysler board member responsible for Mercedes and Smart, said Maybachs were “the ultimate in design and technical perfection between 1921 and 1940”. Asked how the Maybach would be sold in the UK, a DaimlerChrysler spokesman said: “There will be a dedicated centre but it is too early to say where it will be. It will be our 'Rolls-Royce/Bentley' and I don't think we will be at a disadvantage because those marques are so well known.” There are historic links between Maybach and Mercedes. In 1900, Wilhelm Maybach developed the first Mercedes. He was technical director of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and long-time companion of Gottlieb Daimler. Maybach will be sold with two body variants, one with a long wheelbase.

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