Today, the ultra-luxury car brand is owned by Daimler AG and based in Stuttgart. Tognum AG based in Friedrichshafen manufactures the commercial Maybach diesel engines under the MTU brand through its subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH.
Daimler announced in November 2011 that Maybach will cease to be a brand by 2013. 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.
1909–1940: Early history
Maybach has historic roots through the involvement of Wilhelm Maybach, who was the technical director of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) until he left in 1907. On 23 March 1909 he founded the new company, Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH (literally "Aircraft Engine Building Company"), with his son Karl Maybach as director. In 1912 they renamed it to Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH ("Maybach Engine Construction Company"). The company originally developed and manufactured diesel and petrol engines for Zeppelins, and then rail cars. The Maybach Mb.IVa was used in aircraft and airships of World War I.
The company first built an experimental car in 1919, with the first production model introduced two years later at the Berlin Motor Show. Between 1921 and 1940, the company produced various classic opulent vehicles. The company also continued to build heavy duty diesel engines for marine and rail purposes.
During the Second World war, Maybach produced the engines for Nazi Germany's medium and heavy tanks. The engine plant was one of several industries targeted at Friedrichshafen.
After WW II the factory performed some repair work, but automotive production was never restarted, and some 20 years later, the company was renamed MTU Friedrichshafen. Daimler-Benz purchased the company in 1960.
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