There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall, and the bells in the steeple too... Daimler AG is killing the ultra-pricy Maybach brand effective in 2013, the Wall Street Journal reports today. Something, something, something, something, oooo.

Daimler Chief Executive, Dieter Zetsche reportedly confirmed the kill-switch plan in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to be published tomorrow. Instead, the company will expand the Mercedes-Benz S-Class line. That makes sense, considering hardly anyone could tell the difference between the cars, anyway.


Daimler resurrected the Maybach brand nine years ago amid economic boom times. Still, the brand's $375,000 sedans failed to gain a foothold, even as other ultra-high-end marques like Volkswagen's Bentley and BMW's Rolls-Royce flourished. Now, amid a sad trickle of sales and a vexing dearth of profits, Daimler will sunset Maybach the same year the next-gen S-Class will emerge.

To fill the void to be left by Maybach's departure in 2013, Mercedes-Benz will look to eventually double sales within its flagship's segment. Daimler had considered partnering with Aston Martin to reduce production costs — not that cost-cutting along could have saved Maybach. Fewer than 200 Maybachs were built worldwide in 2010, according to WSJ.

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