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Bentley Looking To Lure Maybach's Customers

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On: Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 1:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bentley  Looking To Lure Maybach's Customers

Last year, a year in which Daimler said that it would be discontinuing the Maybach brand, the ultra-premium brand barely broke 200 sales. Lest you think that economic conditions had something to do with it, Rolls Royce set a yearly sales record with 3,538 models, a 31 percent increase over 2010 sales. Bentley had an equally successful year, experiencing a 37 percent sales increase to 7,003 sales overall. Though Maybach may not have many customers to offer, Rolls Royce and Bentley are hopeful that former Maybach customers will move over to their respective offerings.

In November of last year, Mercedes announced that it would wind Maybach down by 2013. Not surprisingly, that has motivated one of Maybach's main competitors to hit the mailbox and telephones in order to drum up business.

Though Maybach's paltry customer totals don't make for a huge business opportunity, they definitely give Rolls and Bentley an opportunity to advance their footprints. Bentley has been particularly proactive in reaching out to Maybach's customer list. According to Reuters, the Crewe crew has begun contacting Maybach owners to set up VIP tours of Bentley's headquarters.

Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told Reuters at the Detroit Auto Show, "The withdrawal of Maybach is a business opportunity for us and we're going to use it."

The withdrawal of Maybach could also have sales implications for Bentley's sibling Bugatti, an automaker which Durheimer is also the CEO of. While the Veyron Grand Sport isn't exactly analagous to anything that Maybach offers, the 16 C Galibier would certainly fill the 'most expensive luxury car money can buy' void being left by Maybach.

Bentley and Rolls Royce offer products with similar levels of luxury and service, but the $290,000 and $380,000 base prices of their respective flagships (Mulsanne and Phantom) fall well short of the $470,000 Maybach 62 S or $1.38 million Landaulet limousine. If it ever makes it to production, the Bugatti 16C would overshadow even the latter with a possible $1.5 million price tag and 1,000-hp engine. The latest intel suggests that a production Galibier could slide onto the market just as the Maybach brand is departing in 2013.

By building relationships with the type of rich-and-willing customers that sprung for a Maybach, Durheimer undoubtedly has the Galibier in the back of his mind. Durheimer said last year that he is 100 percent behind the model, which still awaits approval from Bugatti's parent company Volkswagen. Bringing some of Maybach's clientele over to Volkswagen's top brands could certainly help to make the business case for the Galibier.

While Rolls Royce obviously would love to convert some Maybach customers, it is not pursuing them like Bentley. A spokersperson told Reuters that such aggressive moves are "not the Rolls Royce way."

Daimler plans to replace the Maybach marque with a flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class.



Stephy21 | 12:07PM (Wed, Jan 25, 2012)

At least they are trying to get their businesses and sales back up for all their partners and their self.


Sami18 | 12:11PM (Wed, Jan 25, 2012)

I haven't heard of Mayback before until i read this article. Maybe because its a rich person brand but good to hear they are getting back on track.

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