Wilhelm Maybach

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Wilhelm Maybach (German pronunciation: [ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈmaɪbax]; 9 February 1846 – 29 December 1929) was an early German engine designer and industrialist. During the 1890s he was hailed in France, then the world centre for car production, as the "King of constructors".

From the late 19th century Wilhelm Maybach, together with Gottlieb Daimler, developed light, high-speed internal combustion engines suitable for land, water, and air use. These were fitted to the world's first motorcycle, motorboat, and after Daimler's death, to a new automobile introduced in late 1902, the Mercedes model, built to the specifications of Emil Jellinek.

Maybach rose to become technical director of the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, also known as Daimler Motor Company or DMG, but he did not get on well with its chairmen. As a result Maybach left DMG in 1907 to found Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH together with his son Karl in 1909; they manufactured Zeppelin engines. After the signing of the Versailles Treaty in 1919 the company started producing large luxury vehicles, branded as "Maybach". The company joined the German war effort in 1940, ceasing automotive production in favour of tank engines. including those for Tiger tanks.

In 1998 Daimler-Benz merged with Chrysler Corporation to become DaimlerChrysler. The new company revived the Maybach brand name as a luxury make in 2002.


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