End of Maybach may jump-start Mercedes S-class convertibleThu, 05 Apr 2012
A couple of nondenial denials from Mercedes-Benz execs at the New York auto show this week sure made it sound like there's a convertible coming, based on the redesigned S-class due out next year.
If the brand follows its usual practice, the convertible would come out a year or two after the sedan. Significantly, Mercedes-Benz showed the Ocean Drive convertible concept five years ago with a Mercedes-Benz badge, rather than Maybach.
Dropping the Maybach brand freed up additional resources to invest in expanding the S-class lineup, said Joachim Schmidt, executive vice president Mercedes-Benz Cars, sales and marketing. Parent company Daimler announced plans to shutter Maybach late last year.
"When we were coming to the decision with Maybach, we had to decide if we should make a successor. Should we expand below the (Maybach) 57 and 62, which VW has done with the Bentley Continental and BMW has done with the Rolls-Royce Ghost? For Mercedes to do that, that comes very close to the S-class portfolio," he said.
Schmidt wouldn't say how the brand would expand the S-class other than to say it will be "interesting."
The redesigned S-class sedan is due in the United States around September 2013.
"Now that Maybach is winding down, we can put some more energy into the S-class," said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. "You can connect those dots any way you want."
By Jim Henry