Yenra : Autos : Maybach Commissioning Studio : Every ultra-luxury Maybach is custom-built precisely to customer specifications


Maybach, the ultra-luxury brand launched by DaimlerChrysler, marks the return of the true commissioned automobile -- a car built precisely to a customer's specifications. The Maybach blends 21st-century technology and innovation with classic hand craftsmanship and attention to detail in ways not possible in conventional mass production. Each Maybach takes no less than four months to build, with the Maybach Manufaktur production facility in Sindelfingen, Germany completing no more than four or five cars per day. The deliberate production pace allows Maybach to accommodate individual customer choices, such as special interior fittings and trim, and the overall high degree of hand craftsmanship.

With the factory-offered options, colors and interior materials, numerous vehicle combinations are possible, and the designers and production people will accommodate most special requests.

Maybach has created a unique commissioning process. Each of the U.S. Mercedes-Benz dealers that will sell and service the Maybach has built an in-dealership commissioning studio, along with other service and parts facility enhancements. In this private 500-square-foot room, the dealership's Maybach Relationship Manager (MRM) helps customers design their own Maybach.

The MRM uses wireless computer simulation technology along with traditional tools to bring the vehicle to life. On a 50-inch plasma screen and in three-dimensional form, the MRM shows the customers all the possible paint and trim choices for the Maybach. The software that drives this high-tech vehicle demonstrator is based on the CAD/CAM technology and data originally used to develop the Maybach. Customers can see exactly how different color combinations look and how different interior finishes can change the character of the car in ways that simple two-dimensional car "configurators" cannot do. Customers can also see and touch samples of the interior leathers and woods. A powerful Dolby Surround Sound system showcases some of the exclusive media developed to present the Maybach to the customer.

"The Maybach essentially reinvents itself with every commission," said Wayne Killen, Maybach brand manager. "About the only way there will ever be two alike is if someone intentionally commissions them that way."

Extraordinary quality-control measures will help ensure the level of care that the Maybach customers expect throughout the logistics process. Maybach automobiles leave the production facility in special watertight containers, in which they remain until reaching the U.S. vehicle preparation centers. Every step of the way, only specially trained staff handle the Maybach, and only five or six people touch the car from the time it leaves the factory until its arrival at the dealership via enclosed trailer.

Due to very low production and high demand, Maybach anticipates a waiting period from the commissioning process to customer delivery. The Maybach Relationship Managers have been equipped with tools and commemorative items to create an exciting and memorable experience around the waiting period, which will include invitations to special events that will allow them to see the Maybach. The MRMs will encourage the customers to visit Maybach Manufaktur to see craftsmen building their cars. Customers can also visit the 25,000 square-foot Maybach Center of Excellence in Stuttgart -- near the birthplace of the original Maybach vehicles more than 60 years ago -- where they can test-drive a Maybach and commission a vehicle.

After the sale, the MRM remains the central liaison for service and ongoing dialogue with the Maybach customers. The MRMs keep owners apprised of Maybach experiences, including invitation-only events in a variety of exclusive places.

The Maybach is backed by a four-year limited warranty with unlimited mileage. Except for tires and the windshield, all maintenance items are covered for the warranty period. When the Maybach does require service during the warranty period, it will be picked up from the customer by a flatbed truck and returned the same way. Each Mercedes-Benz dealership that offers the Maybach has also installed a distinct Maybach service area.

At the push of a button, Tele Aid, a cellular-based telematics system first introduced in Mercedes-Benz vehicles, will connect the Maybach driver or owner with specially trained liaisons in the Maybach Assistance Center. They can help with requests for information or other services. Pushing an "SOS" button establishes contact with an emergency response center, which occurs automatically if an accident deploys any of the vehicle's emergency seatbelt tensioning retractors or one of its 10 airbags.