In 1909, the Maybach company was founded, to which the famous engineer and designer Wilhelm Maybach, who had previously worked in the Daimler concern, but left after the conflict in 1907, gave its name to it. However, the new company of Wilhelm and his son Karl, from the moment of its foundation until the end of the First World War, was engaged in the creation of aviation power units, collaborating with Count Zeppilin and the German armed forces.
The turning point came in 1918, when, as a result of the war, the production of any military and aviation equipment in Germany was prohibited. However, Wilhelm Maybach did not resume the work of his company, instructing his son to find buyers for all production facilities of the company. But luck again found the Maybachs, this time in the person of the Dutch company Spiker, which ordered 1000 automobile power units from father and son.
The engine for Spiker was a 5.7-liter six-cylinder 70 horsepower. In the first year, 150 copies of the W2 engine were produced, but between 1921 and 1925, production dropped to 50 copies per year, due to the aggravated economic situation of the Dutch company, which declared itself bankrupt at the end of 1925. Since then, Wilhelm Maybach has made the decision to build cars on his own.
The first Maybach W3 model was introduced in 1921, winning the award for original design, and under the hood of the model is the W2 engine, with the same 5.7 liters as for the Spiker brand. However, the power was increased to 90 horsepower. This was followed by experiments with the installation of aircraft engines on a standard Mercedes chassis, owned by Karl Maybach, but the project was quickly abandoned.
The next model Maybach W5 was presented in 1926, as in the case of the first model, the body design was developed by the famous designer Hermann Spon. Under the hood of the W5 model is one of the most powerful power units of that time, a seven-liter 120 horsepower engine. However, the gearbox left much to be desired, and in 1928 there was a model update called the Maybach W5 SG, where an overdrive gearbox was introduced. However, while maintaining the rest of the technical characteristics, the buyers of the new model could choose the specifications personally for themselves, which significantly increased the price of the car. In the same year, exclusive modifications were presented with motors of 90 and 100 horsepower, which were supplied for modifications with a coupe and convertible body.
In 1929, the Maybach 12 model was introduced, equipped with the same seven-liter engine, but with a capacity of 150 horsepower. Due to the increase in power, the weight of the car was significantly increased, which did not prevent the 12th model from becoming the leader in its class. In addition, production began on the DS8 in 1930, which was powered by an 8-liter 12-cylinder power unit with 200 horsepower and was dedicated to Wilhelm Maybach, who died in 1929.
During the reign of the Third Reich, the Maybach company became a monopoly in the production of engines for tanks, trains and ships. However, such a high position was explained not by the fact that the products of Karl Maybach's company were the best, but by the fact that he had friendly relations with the entire ruling elite of the Reich, including Adolf Hitler, who in every possible way pandered to Karl.
By the time the American aircraft bombed the Maybach plants, the company's products were installed on 95% of tanks and artillery tractors, but due to increased demand, it had a number of shortcomings and technical failures, which led to a conflict between Karl Maybach and Bormann. After the destruction of the plant, Karl Maybach was declared an enemy of the nation and, together with the engineers of the once largest automobile company in Germany, was expelled from the country. France became a new haven for Maybach, where until 1951 Karl tried to establish the production of cars together with his longtime partner Herman Spon, but many technical shortcomings did not allow starting the serial production of new models of the brand. At the same time, Karl Maybach successfully worked for the French government, creating a whole range of powerful engines for the needs of the army.
In 1955, work began on the creation of the Maybach car, made in the American style, but Karl himself did not like the car and hopes to revive the production were abandoned. Karl Maybach died in 1960, and the Daimler concern became the new owner of the destroyed factories of the company in Germany and the engineering office in France. The Daimler management decided to rename the Maybach company and continue the production of power units at the facilities of the former competitor, so the MTU company was registered.
In 1997, the management of the Daimler concern decided to revive the legendary brand, presenting at the Tokyo Motor Show a concept model Maybach with a six-liter power unit designed for installation in the new generation of Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The factories of the company "Maybach" entered the full cycle of production of a new car model only in 2002, after more than five years of work on the creation of a competitive premium car. The Maybach 57 was based on the full-size Mercedes-Benz S-Class W140 sedan. Under the hood is a 5.7-liter 555 horsepower power unit, and the interior trim has been crafted entirely from natural materials.
In the same year, an extended version of this model, called the Maybach 62, was presented, equipped with a seven-liter power unit with a capacity of 630 horsepower. One of its main differences was the presence of more than one million parameters for setting the personal comfort of the rear passengers. Both models were handcrafted.
In 2005, a one-off Maybach Exelero was introduced for the Fuda tire company, which used the vehicle to test new types of tires. However, this model was later resold to a buyer in the United States of America for a record $ 8 million. In 2006, the second generation 57 and 62 models were introduced, which received more powerful powertrains from Mercedes-Benz AMG, but received a flurry of criticism due to the lack of significant improvements affecting the price, which increased by 10% compared to 2005. In 2009, the cars underwent modernization again, due to which the engine power increased to 640 horsepower, and two years later the armored versions of the 57S and 62S were presented.
However, the management of the Daimler concern was not satisfied with the low sales of exclusive Maybach cars, and also did not want to invest serious sums in the modernization of production facilities in order to reduce the assembly time of one car from 60 days to 20. Thus, the consequences of the global financial crisis, the Daimler concern, represented by its General Director Dieter Zetsche, offered the company's shareholders two ways to solve the problem - completely curtail the activities of Maybach or start producing cars of the brand in collaboration with another company, which was to become the English Martin". However, the deal fell through, even though the engineers of the British company prepared a concept for the creation of the second generation of Maybach models.
In the same year, an official announcement was made about the imminent closure of the Maybach firm. The reason for this was the inability to compete with Bentley Motors and Rolls-Royce. So, in 2013, the sale of all warehouse copies of models 57 and 62 of various modifications was opened with a 30% discount. And on December 1, 2012, a new price list for Daimler car dealers was distributed, where Maybach models were marked as discontinued. However, the design headquarters of the company was not disbanded, but moved to Mercedes-Benz, where he began work on the new generation of Mercedes-Benz S-Class. However, even after the official closure of the Maybach firm, cars with this name continue to be produced. In early 2015, the luxurious Mercedes-Maybach S-Class was presented, the design of which completely repeats the tradition of the company, despite the fact that it is the work of Mercedes.