Maybach specializes in ultra-luxurious German automobiles. Formed in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son Karl, the company, originally known as Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH, began as a subsidiary of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, which produced Germany's rigid Zeppelin airships. The automaker became Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH ("Maybach Engine Construction Company") in 1912 and retained that title until 1960, when the company was purchased by Daimler-Benz, which became Daimler AG in August 2007.
Diesel engines for luxury consumer, commercial rides
The luxury German brand that is known for its elegant vehicles makes its own diesel engines for consumer vehicles at a plant in Stuttgart, Germany. The commercial Maybach diesel engine is produced by Tognum AG in Friedrichshafen under the MTU brand of MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH.
A history in the skies
Originally, Maybach developed and manufactured diesel and standard gasoline engines for Zeppelin dirigibles. Later, the company made locomotive engines. During World War I, Maybach produced the Maybach MB.IVa engine, which was used in various fighter planes and airships.
Maybach's first foray into total automotive production began in 1919 with an elegant experimental model called the Opus No. 1, a vehicle that would go down in history as the first Mercedes. The Opus No. 1 design earned Wilhelm Maybach his lasting reputation as "king of design engineers."
Within two years, the company's first production model appeared at the Berlin Motor Show. From 1921 to 1940, Maybach focused on the production of luxury cars and heavy diesel engines for marine and rail. Following World War II, automotive production was shut down and remained dormant until Daimler-Benz purchased Maybach in 1960. The company was then renamed MTU Friedrichshafen.
The present revival
By 1997, Maybach made its triumphant return to auto manufacturing under the guise of the Mercedes-Benz Maybach. The V12, 5,987 cc, 550 hp engine wowed guests of that year's Tokyo Motorshow. Mercedes-Benz marketed the Maybach under that sole brand name as an ultra-luxury car to compete with Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
By the early 2000s, Maybach experienced a brand resurgence. Production of the Maybach 57 and Maybach 62 commenced, where the numbers presented vehicle length in decimeters. By 2005, the 57S hit the assembly line with its 6.0-liter, V12 bi-turbo engine and cosmetic touches that continue to honor the Maybach name.