The Maybach brand was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach, former technical director of Daimler, and his son Karl. Maybach originally developed and manufactured engines for zeppelins, rail cars, and aircrafts. Automobile production began in 1921 and lasted until 1940, a period that saw the Germans launch a variety of luxury vehicles. During World War II, Maybach produced engines for Nazi Germany’s military vehicles, including tanks. Automobile production was never restarted after the war, although one final model was produced in 1945.
The company was purchased by Daimler-Benz in 1960 but the brand remained dormant save for a few coach-building projects made for Mercedes-Benz. Maybach was revived in 2002 with the 57 and 62, two sedans based on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Maybach also built the Exelero concept, which gained international fame after being shown at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor show. Due to slow sales, the brand was discontinued in 2013. Maybach was again revived in 2015, but this time around as a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz. Now marketed as Maybach-Mercedes, it offers Mercedes-Benz S-Class models with extra luxury features. Mercedes also built a more luxurious G-Class SUV under the Maybach brand. As of 2019, Maybach-Mercedes offers only two vehicles based on the S-Class sedan.