Autoweek reports, high ranking Mercedes-Benz sources have confirmed that the underperforming Maybach brand will be officially killed off in 2013.
The decision to disband Mercedes-Benz’s upper luxury marque comes after a decade of disappointing sales for the Maybach 57 and 62 and a recent decision from the German car maker’s chairman Dieter Zetsche not to push ahead with the development replacement models – the likes of which were tentatively due out in 2014 – owing to what one insider describes as a “positive move to focus greater attention on the Mercedes-Benz brand” .
“We’ve come to the conclusion that it is better to cut our losses with Maybach than to continue into an uncertain future with a brand that has failed to live up to original sales expectations,” the insider said. “Plans are already in place to fill the void left by the axing of the Maybach 57 and 62 with the next-generation S-class, which will be offered in three wheelbase variations and six different body styles, including a top-of-the-range S600 Pullman.”
The Maybach epitaph will not be a not pretty one. It was a remarkably cynical effort by Daimler to use the halo of its Mercedes-Benz brand to justify prices of $350,000 to $1.4 million for an inferior automobile wrapped in a glitzy package. Maybach strived for a prestige that it tried to ground on price alone. The wealthy figured it out in a hurry and stayed away in droves. Appearances to the contrary sometimes notwithstanding, the top 0.0001% didn’t accumulate all that money by being stupid.
The Maybach turned out to be a very expensive limo. Bentley and Rolls had histories behind them, and while the Rolls customer expected to be driven in his car, he could, in a pinch, drive it himself. Maybach never made a pretense of being an owner-driven vehicle. Automotive journalists, many of whom insist upon sitting behind the wheel before making a positive judgment on a vehicle, were offered rides as passengers instead. All the action was in the rear seats that reclined like those in an airplane’s business class, with pillowed headrests and extended footrests. The lucky rider could access in-car refrigerators, cigar humidors and other appurtenances thought to be essential for membership in the upper classes.
In 2010 only 157 Maybachs — from a brand nearly a decade old — were sold globally, according to Automotive News, while BMW moved 2,711 similarly priced Rolls.
Should Rick Ross consider a new name for his brand — Maybach Music Group? How does Jay-Z and Birdman feel about Mercedes-Benz officially killing off Maybach?
Previously: Birdman’s Maybach Landaulet [Video]