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S-Class to expand now Mercedes has "given up" on Maybach brand

Mercedez-Benz is planning a wider range of models with the new S-Class to make up for the end of production of the Maybach 57 and 62.

"We have given up on Maybach," says Dr Joachim Schmidt, the Mercedes board member for sales and marketing. "We had two alternatives: to continue with just one model, or to invest below the 57 and 62. But with our current Mercedes portfolio we are extremely strong there.

"A small Maybach coupe would be in direct competition to the S-Class coupe."

Schmidt refutes claims that the resurrection of Maybach was a failure.

"If you look at what we sold with a car costing around €300,000 it came to about 200 last year compared to around 300 Rolls-Royce Phantoms and a similar number from Bentley," he said.

"So we were OK with comparable products. What we didn't have was a car below that.

"We will instead invest in the luxury segment, which is our home turf, but we will do it with Mercedes-Benz." Schmidt said there "will be two versions of the S-Class" -believed to be replacements for today's saloon and SLC coupe - with some "additional variants".

These are expected to take the S-Class even further upmarket, which would have particular appeal in some Far Eastern markets.  



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