DETROIT — Despite the global economic crisis, no customers have canceled their Maybach orders.
The custom hand-built models start at $343,250 for the Maybach 57 and can top $1.3 million for the 62S Landaulet, which features a soft top that rolls open for the rear-seat passengers.
"There is no visible impact of the financial crisis," said Thorsten Lenz, Maybach's product and portfolio manager. "We have a good order base that will last for a few months."
It typically takes five to seven months to build each car after an order is placed.
Maybach sold about 300 vehicles globally last year, down from about 400 in 2007, Lenz said. U.S. sales accounted for 40 to 50 percent of global sales. The assembly plant in Germany has a 2,000-unit capacity, he said.
Dieter Zetsche, CEO of parent company Daimler AG, said last year that despite the low sales, Daimler had no plans to kill the Maybach brand, because it was not losing money.
Lenz would not say whether the Maybach range would be redesigned next decade.
But he said the current model's styling could be in the market for 10 years. Maybach sales began in 2003.
"One of the pillars of Maybach brand perception is that it is timeless design, timeless elegance," said Lenz, who was interviewed this month at the Detroit auto show. "That is the reason why we do not change every year, or every three or four years."
While other brands, including Mercedes-Benz, are looking into alternative powertrains, Lenz said Maybach's customers are not demanding hybrids, for example.
Said Lenz: "We will stick for the time being with our V-12 engine."