At least no sub-brand challenge.
Ever since Mercedes revived its Maybach uber luxury brand, this time as sub-brand Mercedes-Maybach, there have been rumors whether rival BMW would respond with a sub-brand challenge of its own. For the last and hopefully final time, BMW CEO Harald Krueger told Automotive News last month at the Concorso d'Eleganza during the 8 Series Concept's reveal that a rival sub-brand isn't happening. Instead, any Mercedes-Maybach rivaling 7 Series sedan, for example, will "happen within the BMW brand."
But think about. There never has been a need for BMW to create a direct Mercedes-Maybach rival. That's because it's had one since 2003, when it completed its purchase of Rolls-Royce from the Volkswagen Group. Rolls-Royce (BMW), Bentley (VW) and Mercedes-Maybach are in direct competition with one another, but this doesn't mean BMW won't push the luxury envelope even more so. Take the upcoming 8 Series, for example. BMW has already said it'll set a new standard for design and luxury for the brand, elements of which will trickle their way down to other models.
As for Rolls-Royce, the upcoming next generation Phantom and Cullinan SUV will obviously be a notch higher on the luxury scale. They've got Bentley to compete with after all. As for Mercedes-Maybach, the news isn't quite as rosy. Sales have only been lackluster, and the cars don't look different enough from the Mercedes S-Class sedan and coupe they're based on. The Maybach G650 Landaulet, however, is an absolute beast.