The Mercedes-Benz Maybach got the go-ahead from Daimler-Benz's management board Tuesday 28 July. It was the same day that rival BMW got the Rolls-Royce marque.
Production and sales of the new luxury model are scheduled to begin in 2002.
The Maybach concept was first presented at the autumn 1997 Tokyo auto show. Juergen Hubbert, Daimler-Benz board member responsible for passenger cars, said the production model will look different. Dimensions and the main attributes will be the same, he said, but final design decisions have yet to be made.
Hubbert said earlier that he expects the luxury market to keep growing, as well as the competition. 'The market will get very tight,' said Hubbert, 'but this is the case with every market.'
The Maybach will be about 5800mm long. It will be equipped with luxury items like a bar, video and stereo systems, telephones and computer facilities.
'Each Maybach will be produced individually, according to the customer's wishes,' said Hubbert, who likened the model to the Mercedes Pullman 600 of the 1960s. The price is likely to be around DM400,000 to 500,000 ($225,000 to $280,000).
'The yearly production cannot yet be given,' said a Mercedes spokesman. 'It will depend very much on the development of the market in the years to come and the coming changes in politics.'
The Maybach will be built in the Mercedes plant in Sindelfingen, close to Stuttgart.