The Maybach super luxury saloon has four wheels and doors, an engine and a steering wheel - but it hardly fits the definition of a car - as most of us know it, anyway.

The Maybach super luxury saloon has four wheels and doors, an engine and a steering wheel - but it hardly fits the definition of a car - as most of us know it, anyway.

DaimlerChrysler describes the Maybach as an automotive masterpiece that heralds a new dimension in exclusivity, luxury, comfort and cutting-edge technology. We don't contest that.

The Maybach may be a car in the strictest definition, thus falling under's field of interest, but you can't buy the vehicle at a showroom. For those would could afford the 5,7-metre Maybach 57 at R3,4 million or 6,2-litre flagship 62 at R4 million, money should be no object. "Shall I buy a chopper, a holiday pad in Camps Bay, or a Maybach?", that's the kind of decision a potential Maybach buyer would have to make... not whether the car is affordable.

Five Maybachs are built at DaimlerChrysler's Centre of Excellence in Sindelfingen, Germany, each day. It is believed that the global automotive market can sustain demand for 8 000 super-luxury saloons each year... Maybachs are anything but mass-produced and buyers have a clear profile: Well-heeled, ultra-successful, individualistic and status-conscious.

In South Africa - and the rest of the countries where Maybachs will be available - a 24-hours a day customer service function is included as standard for all Maybach customers. DaimlerChrysler SA's dedicated Maybach sales and service division personal liaison manager Roger Tobler is solely responsible to take care of the customer - from original query on Maybach right through to managing the servicing requirements for the customer's vehicle. This includes managing the delivery of the customer's Maybach - as per his choice - either in South Africa, or at the specialised Maybach Centre of Excellence in Stuttgart, Germany.

By contrast with ordinary car owners, Maybach buyers will never need to drive their vehicles to service garages. And should a 57 or 62 break down, DaimlerChrysler will send one of 13 service specialists around the globe to fly to the stricken car. If the specialist cannot fix the problem on the spot, he or she will organise that the vehicle is put on a flatbed and transported to Sandown Village Close in Johannesburg, where the vehicle will be repaired.

Peter Graf von Kageneck, DaimlerChrysler AG's senior sales manager for Maybach, said the brand's main markets would be Germany, the UK, the United Arab Emirates and Asia. "Maybach has the capacity to build 1 000 units per annum, but we intend to supply enough made-to-order cars to satisfy demand in whichever market it arises," he said.

Dan Moeletsi, the divisional manager of DaimlerChrysler South Africa's (DCSA) car group, said the company estimated it would sell 10 units a year.

"I don't think it will take a long time before South Africa is also regarded as one of the preferred markets for Maybach," he said. "The local price of the Maybach is aligned to the international pricing of the vehicle market but we feel privileged that there are sufficient exports front the East London plan to use to subside local prices".

The acquisition of a Maybach requires an initial deposit of R500 000 and delivery takes between six and 12 months.

Original article from Car