If you had any doubt about the automotive industry being anything but a well-mannered jungle, here's another piece of evidence to support the idea: just days after the Bentley Bentayga was born, one manufacturer said it's destined to be "number two" and another announced it might be preparing a rival for it.
We are, of course, talking about Rolls-Royce in the first instance, and Mercedes-Benz in the second. But let's not forget Maserati either, who is also getting ready to come up with an ultra-luxury SUV of its own.
But let's focus on Mercedes-Benz for a moment. By all intents and purposes, Mercedes-Benz is not a direct competitor for Bentley, but, on the other hand, there is that luxury arm called Maybach that exists for this reason precisely.
Yeah, but Maybach does limousines and Bentayga is an SUV, how can those two be direct competitors? Well, they can't, but who says Mercedes-Maybach can only do limousines based on the S-Class. They are very much likely to launch a Maybach E-Class, and they've previously said that a Mercedes-Maybach GLS (the current GL) looks like a very feasible idea to them.
Talking to a reporter from Automotive News, Andreas Zygan, Mercedes-Benz director of development for SUVs says they are detecting an ever increasing demand for luxury off-roaders. “We are looking at everything that is going on with that segment,” he said, basically meaning that if there is high enough demand, they will try to fulfill it.
His view is shared by Steve Cannon, Mercedes U.S. sales boss. Based on market trends, he concluded that building an ultra-luxury SUV would be the most logical move for Mercedes-Benz. “There's just an almost unending appetite for SUVs, and luxury SUVs are proving that,” he added, with a very vivid memory of the sales figures and details in his mind, no doubt.