Daimler to launch first Maybach SUV

The German firm is to roll out a Mercedes-Maybach GLS sport-utility vehicle in the second half of 2020

Hubertus Troska, Daimler's China chief, speaks at a launching event for Mercedes-Maybach GLS sports utility vehicle (SUV) ahead of Guangzhou auto show in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Yilei Sun
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Daimler is to launch the luxury Maybach brand’s first sport-utility vehicle next year, unveiling the car at an event ahead of the Guangzhou Auto Show in China on Thursday.

Chief executive, Hubertus Troska, said it plans to roll out the Mercedes-Maybach GLS model, which is based on the Mercedes GLS-Class SUV, in the second half of 2020, joining other luxury brands that offer SUV models to attract customers in China and the United States.

Mr Troska said that China is Mercedes-Maybach’s biggest market.

The move came a day after James Bond's carmaker of choice, Aston Martin,  rolled out its first SUV model, the DBX.

Luxury carmakers from Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini launched ultra-luxury SUV models in the past year to boost their brand’s overall profitability.

In 2012, Daimler, which owns the Mercedes-Benz marque, stopped making Maybach’s iconic long limousines after the vehicles, which were based on a unique design and cost around $380,000 (Dh1.39 million), failed to sell heavily enough. At the time, Maybach vehicles were marketed as a separate brand from Mercedes-Benz. Among the owners were Russia’s Roman Abramovich, musician Jay-Z and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

When the joint Mercedes-Maybach brand was launched in 2014, Ola Kaellenius, then the Mercedes-Benz executive responsible for marketing and sales, said the brand was expected to sell well in China, the United States, Russia and Japan.

At the Shanghai autoshow this year, Daimler’s Troska said demand for Maybachs was more than 600 a month in China.