NEW YORK — DaimlerChrysler AG will start selling its new $350,000 Maybach super luxury car in the U.S. next spring after the auto maker “nails down” which Mercedes-Benz dealers will move the precious metal.
“We're talking to 200 dealers, and looking for about 70 who are serious,” says Fred Heiler, a Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman.
Those 200 dealers — out of 320 Mercedes dealers in the U.S. overall — have exclusive Mercedes showrooms.
“We're not asking for an exclusive showroom for Maybach, we're asking for designated space,” says Heiler.
Exclusivity drives the Maybach, the namesake of German auto maker Wilhelm Maybach. He originally built 1,800 models from 1921-41. World War II killed off the old car line.
DaimlerChrysler expects to sell 1,000 of the new Maybachs annually, about 40% of those in the U.S.
The Maybach will compete with two other legendary ultra-luxury brands now owned by two other German auto makers — BMW's Rolls-Royce and Volkswagen's Bentley.
The first Maybach arrived in America with great fanfare this month. In England, the car was put in a glass crate and placed on a deck of the New York City-bound Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner.
When the ship arrived in New York, a helicopter lifted the crated car off the deck and flew it into Manhattan. From there, it was driven into a press conference at the posh Regency Hotel on Wall Street.