Daimler to axe luxury cars subsidiary Maybach

image captionSales of Daimler's 300,0000 euros Maybach cars have been well below target figures

German industrial group Daimler is preparing to disband its ultra-luxurious Maybach car marque.

The decision follows almost a decade of trying to make Maybach a profitable rival to Rolls Royce and Bentley.

Maybach will be replaced by new and more luxurious models from the Mercedes brand, which is also made by Daimler.

Daimler is said to have invested more than 1bn euros in the Maybach brand, which was revived nine years ago after more than 60 years out of production.

"It would not be sensible to develop a successor model for the current Maybach," said chief executive Dieter Zetsche in an interview with German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The firm had resurrected the historic brand in response to the decision by German rivals BMW to take control of the Rolls Royce marque, and Volkswagen's acquisition of Bentley.

Daimler had intended to sell 1,000 Maybachs a year at more than 300,000 euros (£260,000, $400,000) each, but fell well short of that at around 200 a year.

The firm is expected to target a lower-priced section of the luxury market with its new Mercedes luxury line, and develop cars for sale at a price in the 100,000-300,000 euros range.

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