Throughout The Car Industry
Maybach Is Dead. Again. Drinks All Around.
Everything has been all sunshine and rainbows over at Rolls-Royce recently—as I’ve mentioned in various articles in this space that you can search for if you’re so inclined—but despite my thorough coverage of the various goings-on I failed to ask (at least) one simple question: If Rolls is the super-luxury-car sales windshield, who’s the bug?
Well, now I—or more correctly we—now know: Maybach.
See, unlike their owners’—R-R’s is BMW and Maybach’s is Mercedes-Benz—lifelong struggle for supremacy, it seems that in the case of these “ultra-premium” brands the boys at M-B just didn’t want to draw things out beyond 2013, so they aren't. According to Autoweek it seems that instead of keeping things going in the usual “waiting for better times” manner—and continuing to shovel container-ships’-worth of Euros into the fire—they are effectively ceding the ultra-luxury-car sales high-ground to their Bavarian nemesis after just over a decade of trying to come out on top.
But are they?...
Yes. And no.
According to Autoweek’s “high ranking Mercedes-Benz sources,” the company will indeed re-kill the Maybach 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.”
Those expectations, according to Juergen Hubbert—chairman of Mercedes-Benz at the time—were to sell around a total of 800 of its “57” and “62” models (yes, those are the model names in their entirety).
[But that’s strange. They have sold that many. So why?... Oh, wait. That was supposed to be per YEAR?! Ah, no. They never even got close.]
Herr Hubbert made that goal known at the brand’s 2002 resurrection party in New York City, to which I was apparently not invited. But I was there for that year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, wherein the car was introduced to the only people on earth who matter to a brand like this: famous people.
Oh, and journalists. How do I know journalists mattered? How about CASES of Cristal Champagne being passed out to us like Mercedes was bailing it out to prevent their ship from sinking!
[BTW, I don’t drink alcohol as a rule, but DANG that’s tasty stuff! I can see why those who do drink mention it with reverence. I subsequently learned that it was $200 per bottle, so naturally I haven’t had any since. So, should some German car magnate offer you some gratis, take it!]
Right. It’s just as well that I don’t drink, because I might have “accidentally” called their vaunted potential flagships “the world’s fanciest S-Classes” within earshot of some frowning functionary or other.
Turns out, however, I had the right idea all along. That same “insider” added, “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.”
[Which would be what, folks? The world’s fanciest S-Classes! Score one for the home team!]
So there you have it. Some snot-nosed scribbler could’ve saved Mercedes-Benz billions, even if they had scrapped the whole lot—at a considerable loss—that very day.
Then again, maybe they did listen. Perhaps Autoweek’s source is that very same functionary who overheard me in 2002, and it’s just taken him this long to get into a position high enough that he could put my plan into action.
Either way, I think I should get SOME credit for my foreseeing Mercedes’ Maybach misadventure. Hey, I’m a reasonable guy and don’t expect much. Perhaps a bottle (or five) of Cristal isn’t too much to ask?...
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Posted In: Car News, Exotics, Miscellaneous, Reports, Rumors, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: Maybach, Mercedes, Benz, S-Class, 57, 62, Rolls Royce, BMW, German, Daimler, Autoweek
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