When it comes to luxury cars, you won’t find many that are more luxurious than the ones that bear the name of both Mercedes-Benz and Maybach. Seeing the two names on the same vehicle has prompted many people to ask if the vehicles are the result of two separate companies joining forces and collaborating or does Mercedes own Maybach?
Maybach creates its first car
Immediately following the end of WW1, Maybach started attracting the auto industry’s attention in 1919, when its first creation rolled off the line and found its way into the hearts of German luxury auto enthusiasts. The company continued to produce fantastic luxury cars for another 20 years.
One of the most famous vehicles that bore the name was the Zeppelin. The name was a not-so-subtle way of paying homage to the fact that in addition to creating top-of-the-line luxury cars, Maybach also created the engines for Germany’s famous airships.
According to the International Driving Authority, Karl Maybach was hailed as the “King of Designers.” In 1922, The German Engineers Association dubbed him a “pioneering designer.” Anyone who could afford to purchase a luxury car clamored for a Maybach creation.
Maybach’s official history page describes how the company was so dedicated to high-quality designs, they created a design training program that emphasized turning out well-schooled designers who would approach each design they handled with the heart and soul of a perfectionist. Aspiring designers continue to attend the company’s rigorous design training workshops.
The history of Mercedes-Benz
The Mercedes-Benz company traces its history back to the late 1800s. As the Victorian Era was yielding to the Edwardian Era, two bright young men, Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler joined forces and created a horseless carriage.
While the two struggled to find funding at a time when investors were more interested in financing stationary engines than dreams of what would kick off the automotive age, the pair never gave up. Eventually, they created a three-wheeled vehicle that Carl’s wife drove across Germany when she wanted to visit her parents. Daimler.com reports that the famous road trip took place in 1888 and covered a duration of 180-kilometer.
The company went on to create several exciting and memorable vehicles, including the still-famous S-Class. Well over a hundred years have passed since Bertha Benz took that first drive. Since then, a great deal has changed. Mercedes-Benz now has a reputation for producing top-quality vehicles that are highly sought after by both luxury and sport car enthusiasts.
The merging of Mercedes and Maybach
Most people, especially drivers who love luxury cars, are aware that there’s a connection between Mercedes and Maybach. Fewer people know that Mercedes owns Maybach. According to CarCarePortal, Mercedes originally purchased Maybach in 1960. At the time, Mercedes took advantage of the new acquisition to use Maybach’s resources to create the W116 and W108 models. For several years, the two companies stood alone.
Inside Hook reports that it was at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show that Mercedes revealed that it was using the Maybach name in connection to a few sedans it was dedicating five years of production time to. The vehicles didn’t arrive until 2002. Both vehicles, which were the Maybach 52 and the Maybach 62, were gorgeous and had hefty price tags. While the price was modern, both vehicles had an old-world kind of style.
Many people assumed that this was one of the first times the two company names were connected but that’s not the case at all. The two companies share a history that goes back a long way. Long before Mercedes formally purchased Maybach.
The history of these two companies can be traced back to 1896 when Maybach shared a friendship and love of locomotives with Gottlieb Daimler. The pair worked together and likely would have created an early version of the Maybach/Mercedes company had Maybach been able to agree with Nicolaus Otto who had also been brought into the group’s fold. In the end, the group fractured. Maybach and Diemler created Maybach, and Otto and Benz created Mercedes-Benz.