Mercedes unveiled the seventh-generation S-Class today, the best car in the world at any given moment, with the best version of that—the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Sedan—currently powered by a V12. But Merc’s CEO said today that the future Maybachs could go electric, which makes more sense the longer you think about it.
The idea seems to be a bit of badge-slapping but it’s really about staying at the edge of where other automakers are going, somewhat similar to how GM has said Cadillac will be its lead electric brand. Details are a bit scarce but it sounds like something electric will happen with Maybach.
To underline its ambition, the Daimler subsidiary could make use of the Maybach brand — for now reserved only for its most exclusive vehicles — and add the name to variants of the EQS sedan debuting next year, CEO Ola Kallenius said in an interview.
“There’s room to do more with the Maybach brand name,” Kallenius said. “The electric platform offers some opportunities.”
Focusing on larger luxury cars in the shift toward electric vehicles is a cornerstone of Kallenius’ strategy to revive margins at Mercedes. Bigger vehicles generate higher profits that are critical to fund large outlays for new technology, expand software operations and foot the bill for restructuring costs.
It’s interesting the point we’ve reached in the push toward electric that CEOs at luxury automakers are now thinking about profitability when it comes to high-end electric cars, and not saving the world or something. And while I’m certain that European emissions regulations are a part of Mercedes’ decision, consider that China is also a huge market for Maybach, and there’s a big push for electric there, too.
In the U.S., meanwhile, Mercedes might sell only a handful of electric Maybachs, but Mercedes (and pretty much every automaker in the world) knows that the U.S. isn’t really leading on the future of cars, Tesla notwithstanding. And, besides, how many Maybach owners actually drive their cars anyway.