Despite Hip-Hop’s Support, the Maybach Faces Tough Times

by Todd Shriber

Daimler AG, the German auto giant behind Mercedes, is having difficulty gaining traction with another one of its luxury brands. Fans of rap music are probably familiar with the Maybach name, but the problem is that car enthusiasts haven’t been too fussed over the ultra-premium luxury automobile.

Maybach was reintroduced by Daimler in 2002, but the brand has sputtered to become a legitimate threat to BMW’s Rolls-Royce and Volkswagen’s Bentley. Just 200 Maybachs were sold in 2010 compared to 2,700 models for Rolls-Royce and 5,100 for Bentley, Bloomberg reported. Additionally, Maybach’s tepid sales don’t jibe with the company’s previous claims that it was immune from the global economic crisis a couple of years ago.

Daimler says it will make a decision on the future of the Maybach in time, but there is a chance the automaker’s hand may be forced.

One analyst quoted by Bloomberg said he can’t see any future for the Maybach marque. Another said Daimler can’t continue Maybach in its current form. Obviously, the goal for Daimler should be to sell more Maybachs, but that goal is made all the more difficult by a dwindling dealer network in the U.S., one of the most important markets for the brand.

When Maybach reappeared in 2001, there were 71 dealers in the U.S., but by 2007, that number slid to 42, according to Left Lane News. Now, there are just 30 Maybach dealers in the U.S., Bloomberg reported.

Only time will tell what Daimler has in store for the Maybach label. But whatever the future holds, fans of the brand can only hope Daimler doesn’t do to Maybach what Jay-Z and Kanye West did to a Maybach in the “Otis” video.

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1 Comment for “Despite Hip-Hop’s Support, the Maybach Faces Tough Times”

  1. The problem with Maybach is that it is based on two generations old S-Class chassis, and starting at twice the price of the top range S-Class. From the outset, Maybach is aimed at those who are extremely rich and extremely foolish at the same time, who will pay for an obsolete design with an obscene price tag.

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