I’m no marketing wizard, but it seems to me that calling the car a Mercedes-Maybach rather than a Mercedes-Benz Maybach, it only shortens a long name, but rather more importantly defines far more clearly the kind of product it’s referring to.
Plus, at the same time, it opens up an almost infinite number of directions in which the name – being a brand rather than a model – can go.
It works just as well with Mercedes-AMG and, indeed, the third Mercedes sub-brand, which is, of course, Mercedes-Benz.
Whom do we have to thank for this? My money is on Land Rover. I know it was far from the minds of those who designed the original Range Rover back in the 1960s, but that is the car that became almost by accident a brand within a brand, not least because ‘Land Rover Range Rover’ was such a mouthful.
As for Maybach itself, time alone will tell whether its decision to exhume the name two years after it was interred for the second time was smart.
On the one hand, not even Benz execs will deny that its attempt to revive the Maybach brand was a happy one, and on the other while few may have cared for the cars enough to spend a quarter of a million on one, no-one doubted the sheer quality of the finished item nor what Mercedes intended the Maybach brand to mean.
If that means people will now be willing to buy a Mercedes-Maybach for half the price of the old Maybach - and if, in turn, that means Mercedes goes on to develop a whole new range of Maybach-branded luxury cars - then perhaps the dark cloud that hung over the unloved and unlovely last Maybach may yet prove to be tinged with silver.