I don’t plan on going broke, put that on my Maybach,
Cuz I’m in it to win now, can’t take that
Listen to my Maybach music, to my Maybach music
Mercedes-Benz’s bold experiment in luxury finally comes to an end next year in a whimpering failure, which is curious for the 126-year old brand, because one would think they’ve picked up a thing or two about how to build luxury cars. But perhaps most indicative of our conspicuous consumptive fallout, it turns out that ultra-luxury brand Maybach was bleeding more money than Elvis’s Vegas period—the company was losing $438,568 on every one of the $440,000 limos sold.
That’s right—the company was losing more money per car than what it was selling.
Where it’s at, Austin? Where’s that, Texas?
What’s in front, Benzes? What else, Lexus?
Well, whose Maybach is this? Mr. West’s
A comprehensive report from Georg Kacher of CAR damns the brand with little praise. The ovoid, two-tone behemoths looked like slightly melted S-Classes. DaimlerChrysler was too busy setting its American underlings in line (as well as Mitsubishi, and Smart) to give the brand any credence. The cigar holder only fit Robustos and not Culebras. Or perhaps in a wealth-flaunting culture that values the new and cutting-edge, the Maybach itself featured ancient electronics from a generation ago and a platform that dated back to the 1991 Russian-mob-special Mercedes S-Class: any older or more squarish and you’d find a Lincoln Town Car underneath.
57, 62, tell me how ya wanna move
Yeah, you know I got them both
Beat your ass black and blue
But the most damning evidence of Maybach’s quiet deflation is this: in the past 7 years, the company sold just 3,000 cars. Now, exclusive luxury brands are supposed to be that: if they had set a Volkswagen-esque sales target of 800,000 cars per year, Rick Ross might be rapping about Morgans. Maybe if the company had built the Exelero, they could have lost slightly less money on that one instead. But even the impressive 62 Landaulet didn’t sell—presumably because the idea of a massive German limousine convertible made people a little testy.
I’m a boss and I’m ridin’ like a small fault
Make your wheels and ride till they fall off
Ok, that was a joke. But then again, so was Maybach—the normally fastidious Germans, who (like every other business) drop hundreds of millions of dollars into market analysis, case studies, and long-term strategies, all in excruciating detail, won’t take this sort of failure lying down. Heads will surely roll at Mercedes-Benz. When a company spends 1 billion euros and manages to lose even more, it’s more than costly, it’s embarrassing. People have been fired—hell, people have been murdered—for less.
Realist sh*t I ever wrote, chillin’ in my Maybach
Whatever I send out, homie, I’ma make back
Can you believe that? Woah, you gotta see it
Production of the 57 and 62, as well as the entire Maybach lineup, will end in 2013; it will eke out one or two more, possibly a “special edition” catered to Hong Kong debutantes or hoarding oil sheiks. (Hey, the latter worked pretty well for Rolls-Royce.) All the criticism directed at Maybach can seem like “hatin’,” and you know what they say about, well, haters and their ongoing continuation. But in the end, the best thing that ever happened to Maybach was Hova and Yeezy taking a blowtorch to it.