Why Maybach closed: they 'lost 330,000 on each one'
February 8, 2012
by Georg Kacher
After seven years and only 3000 sold units, the Maybach brand will bite the dust in 2013. It its place, Mercedes will challenge Bentley and Rolls Royce with up to seven different luxury cars derived from the next S-class due, you guessed it, in 2013.
What went wrong with Maybach?
Was it the name, the product, the positioning, the price? Short answer: all of the above, and more. The Maybach's homespun design which bumped a few branches on the ugly tree on the way down certainly did not help, and when the new S-class was launched in 2005, the Maybach 57/62 was stuck with the previous platform, with dated electronics and fast-ageing powertrains.
Despite the slow start, Messieurs Hubbert, Schrempp and Zetsche failed to fill the Maybach brand with meaningful content. Instead of receiving the first-ever production fuel-cell, a special halo version of the Bluetec engine family or an early plug-in hybrid system, Maybach never really stood for anything but beautifully executed luxury, conservative styling and debatable social acceptance.
Even though the personal liaison managers who operated out of pompous shop-in-shop lounges rarely sold more than 150 to 300 Maybachs per year, the top management was so busy dealing with other corporate casualties like Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Smart that the only rescue plan they eventually agreed on was a near-instant exit.
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