If you have a taste for watercress tea sandwiches and a tolerance for an old lady with lots of dogs, there’s a job waiting for you in England provided you have a full U.K. driver’s license and a clean record.
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BMW is cashing in on the chauffeur craze in China by offering a stretched version of the 3-Series exclusively to Chinese customers.
The longer wheelbase sedan will be sold as a 335Li, and will offer more legroom to Chinese consumers who want to be driven around but can’t afford a legitimate chauffeur car like Bentley or Rolls-Royce.
It might sound ridiculous that the mild-mannered 3-Series would merit a hired driver, but Audi has actually been advancing Chinese sales by offering the A6L and A4L sedans with “L” signifying the longer version.
The 335Li fits between the two Audi cars in terms of rear-seat legroom according to China Car Times. Chinese customers will be able to buy the car later this year, though it won’t be offered anywhere else in the world. That would have meant a lot of extra work on BMW’s part until recently. The German automaker will manufacture their Chinese 3-Series cars in partnership with Brilliance, a company they have worked with on several projects in the past.
[Source: China Car Times]
The slow-selling luxurious Maybach may be in trouble and we will find out by July 1. Mercedes parent company Daimler AG is trying to decide what to do with the Maybach company after slumping sale issues. Daimler will either axe the car or possibly partner with British car-maker Aston Martin for a second-generation car.
According to CEO Dieter Zetche, “there is a higher likelihood to come to a positive decision” for a new-generation of Maybach if a partner joins production. Zetche did confirm that Daimler has been discussing a partnership with Aston Martin and that there are no other prospects. A concept for the next-generation Maybach has been designed but a final decision has not been made, according to Zetche. Daimler invested over $1 billion on development for the Maybach, but ”it was not a good investment for a small-volume vehicle.”
Slow-selling would be an understatement. Only 157 Maybachs were sold last year, according to IHS Automotive, far short of the Mercedes- Benz goal of 1,500 units.
If Aston Martin produces the Maybach, the British automaker would be inclined to buy engines (V8 and V12) and transmissions (seven-speed automatic) from Mercedes-Benz but would implement them into other Aston Martin vehicles.
GALLERY: 2011 Maybach Lineup
[Source: Automotive News]