Mercedes-Benz is bringing ultraluxe to its flagship SUV, the GLS.
The new Maybach, based on the all-new third-generation GLS platform, would be the most expensive passenger vehicle made in America. The model is expected to be priced at about $200,000, sources said. Mercedes did not disclose pricing.
Ultraluxury SUVs, which often share platforms with much less expensive vehicles, are cash cows for automakers. The global market for ultraluxury SUVs should grow from around 7,500 last year to above 20,000 by 2023, according to AutoForecast Solutions. About 75 percent of these vehicles will be sold in the U.S. and China.
The Maybach GLS reflects luxury-market trends of sedans declining in popularity and SUVs seeing greater demand, said Ed Kim, an analyst with AutoPacific.
"Until recently, the proverbial big black sedan was the sure sign of success and prestige, but today, SUVs have eclipsed sedans as the luxury vehicles to be seen in," Kim said. "The Maybach GLS should easily find an audience with younger celebrities, or the scions of older oligarchs."