FRANKFURT -- Mercedes-Benz is exploring whether to introduce an ultraluxury crossover or SUV, possibly under its Maybach subbrand.
Demand appears to be growing for ultraluxury SUV and crossover type vehicles, said Andreas Zygan, Mercedes director of development for SUVs. He noted the entry of other high-end brands such as Bentley, which showed the Bentayga crossover at the auto show here.
"We are looking at everything that is going on with that segment," Zygan said. He declined to say how soon Mercedes will make a decision.
Steve Cannon, the brand's U.S. sales boss, called a handcrafted ultraluxury SUV-style vehicle a "natural fit."
"There's just an almost unending appetite for SUVs, and luxury SUVs are proving that," Cannon said.
"Look at what's happening with the Bentleys of the world and even Lamborghini thinking about it."
Cannon noted that Mercedes sells an "incredible number" of GL full-size SUVs loaded with top options. The G-class SUV also sells well at a price topping $125,000. But the revival of Maybach as a luxury subbrand gives Mercedes more room to grow with an ultraluxury SUV or crossover, Cannon said.
"There's an appetite, a market for that," Cannon said. "When we get to that point that we expand the Maybach offering -- and we will expand the Maybach offering -- that would be a natural place to go."