Mercedes-Benz is selling almost as many Maybach cars in China each month as it used to sell worldwide in a year, when it targeted the super-rich with a stand-alone model.
Chinese buyers are snapping up about 500 a month of the ultra-luxury variant of the Mercedes S-Class, which starts at about 1.44 million yuan ($230,000) in China. That compares to a peak of 600 Maybach cars in 2003, which at the time cost more than $350,000.
“Sales in China are developing very well,” Ola Kaellenius, sales chief for the Daimler AG unit, said on Wednesday.
Daimler revived Maybach as a Mercedes sub-brand this year to chase the wealthiest buyers, people who otherwise might have considered a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley. The Mercedes-Maybach adds legroom and opulent options such as hand-made silver-plated champagne goblets to the standard S-Class.
The effort appears to be working. Mercedes started selling Maybach in China in February as part of a push to catch up with BMW and Audi in the world’s largest auto market, which is suffering a slowdown.
Mercedes sales rose 20 percent last month, driven not just by Maybach but also by its compact cars and sport utility vehicles. Audi, the bestselling upscale car brand in the country, posted its first sales decline in the country in more than two years.
Read more at Bloomberg Business.