According to a Reuters report, Bentley is seizing the opportunity to go after former celebrities associated with the-soon-to-be -defunct Maybach brand, including rapper Jay-Z, actor Samuel L. Jackson, and Spanish King Juan Carlos. Maybach has catapulted to epitomize ultra-luxurious living, but despite an established association with some of the world’s richest people—the Sultan of Brunei and Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich among them—the associations haven’t equated to profitability.
Daimler, Maybach’s parent company, says instead it will focus on especially luxurious versions of its popular Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Meanwhile Bentley boss, Wolfgang Duerheimer, said “the withdrawal of Maybach is a business opportunity for us and we’re going to use it.”
Jay-Z and Kanye West famously chop-shopped a Mayback with a saw and torch for their “Otis” music video. In it Jay-Z raps that he’s “photo shoot fresh, looking like wealth/I’m about to call the paparazzi on myself.” In the same video Kanye West shows Daimler a little love, sort of: “They say I’m crazy well, I’m ’bout to go dumb again/they ain’t seen me because I pulled up in my other Benz/last week I was in my other other Benz/throw your diamonds up.” Certainly Duerheimer, if he could have his way, would want the lyrics to read “they ain’t seen me because I pulled up in my other Bentley/last week I was in my other other Bentley/throw your diamonds up.”
Going after a clientele with notably deep pockets makes good sense, especially with an entry price of $380,000, with many models easily costing a half-million dollars. As for soliciting attention that didn’t seem to quite work for Maybach, well, we’ll just leave that up to the CEOs.