04 October 2007

Sun Sets on Decadent Maybach

Billionaires the world over are bummed. Mercedes-Benz's über-überluxury marketing disaster is slowly but methodically getting its plug pulled.

In 5 years Maybach has only sold 800 cars. Here in the United States, the world's biggest market for cars that cost more than houses, Maybach only sold 146 cars last year and they had planned on selling 600.

As a result 29 of the 71 US Maybach dealers (71 STORES?!?!! Bentley has like 30!) will be closing their diamond-encrusted doors.

Most will blame the demise of the re-birthed brand on the fact that both the 57 and 62 were essentially ugly, bloated S-Classes with $300,000 worth of options. And we won't refute that.

Next time though, think of some catchier names. Who thought telling an American buyer that their half a million dollar car is called "62" because it is "6.2 meters long" was a good idea?

Also, Maybach peoples, ya shoulda built the Exelero. Now that car is fucking insane!

The history of the brand (Maybach) didn't get nearly enough publicity for people to care about the brand as well; most people probably thought Maybach was made up but since Maybach had its last hurrah during the Third Reich, I suppose Mercedes couldn't glorify the history too much.

Maybach originally developed and manufactured diesel and gas engines for Zeppelins. It also contributed to the Wehrmacht war effort by producing the engines for the formidable Panther and Tiger tank. Yikes.

Over 70 dealers pushed just over 140 cars? I've got to assume that some of those dealers sold more than one or two, leading me to the conclusion that at least a couple dealers sold DICK last year. Wow.

I see quite a few of these around Manhattan, but I had no idea they sold so few of them. 10-20% of all the Maybachs must be in Manhattan then!

The bad thing about this car (aside from its horrible mutant S class looks) is the fact that you don't drive it, you have it driven for you. The Bentley Flying Spur? You could actually drive that. The Rolls Royce Phantom? You could drive that too. But if you drive this car you are the chauffeur, not the one that bought the damn thing, which is odd.

When customers decided to order a Maybach they could go to Sindelfingen, the marque’s headquarters, (or meet over a video conference centre at a dealer in their own country) to specify every and any detail they desire. Many customers will personalise their cars with their initials or coats of arms. Maybach executives liken the experience to ordering a custom-built yacht or a personalized jet aircraft. Also, with a hand-crafted finish quality, and over two million equipment options, it is unlikely that two identical cars will ever leave the factory.

Keep in mind, Warren Buffet, the dude who could buy the moon and have lunch money left over, drives a Nissan Altima.

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