It needs to do something to keep at the top of the luxury game.
As much as we may hate to admit it, soon enough we won't be talking about a car's engine note when reviewing it. Ford is working on an electric F-150, Jaguar may have to abandon combustion engines altogether, and even BMW, a brand that prides itself on driving pleasure and the emotions that come from hearing a great straight-six, is building more electric vehicles. The world is changing, and with it, every type of car. This includes the ridiculously opulent Mercedes-Maybach S and its brethren. In an interview with Bloomberg, Daimler AG's CEO Ola Kallenius discussed the brand's plans for the future, which may well include electric Maybachs.
"There's room to do more with the Maybach brand name," Kallenius said. "The electric platform offers some opportunities." This comes after Kallenius was asked about profit margins, an area in which Mercedes is - perhaps somewhat surprisingly - not doing all that well. Although specific margins are never disclosed per vehicle, Kallenius concedes that the most expensive cars in its range, cars like the astonishing new S-Class, generate higher profits despite huge investment into new tech. This tech eventually trickles down to smaller cars, so if Mercedes can debut new electric tech on cars like the Maybach GLS, the impact on lower-end cars will be less significant, which will help improve the cost versus profit ratio of the whole portfolio.
However, it's not just electric cars that can help Mercedes become more profitable in the long run. Kallenius predicts that digital business areas could eventually return revenue in excess of a billion euros. So while Mercedes is outselling its chief German rivals at BMW and Audi, leading the way in new technology is proving more and more expensive, and Mercedes will look to cut costs so that it can afford to stay at the peak of technological innovation. We also see no harm in a Maybach being fitted with a propulsion system that emits almost no noise whatsoever. The future will be interesting to watch.