German automaker Daimler is denying reports from Chinese media that it plans to sell off its luxury brand Maybach.

German automaker Daimler is denying reports from Chinese media that it plans to sell off its luxury brand Maybach.

The Chinese newspaper Guangzhou Daily was reporting that China's BYD Co. Ltd. was considering making a bid for the Maybach brand. BYD is a Chinese car and battery manufacturer 10 percent owned by billionaire Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway investment group.

But Daimler has denied the claim.

"Maybach is an important part of Daimler's product portfolio. There is no other decision," said a Daimler spokesman in the Reuters story.

It's a vague denial and one that sounds defensive. We've previously reported that Daimler executives have plans to shut down Maybach after its disappointing sales performance since the brand's re-introduction back in 2002. Maybach sold only 200 units in 2009 - a very small volume compared to the brand's ultra-luxury competitors such as VW Group's Bentley and BMW Group's Rolls Royce. And Mercedes may be worried that the brand will only cannibalize sales of its exclusive S-Class, set for a next-generation release in 2014.

One thing for sure is that Maybach's plans for the near future include only a minor facelift - with no big changes, such as new engines, announced.

 

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