Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

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Thread: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

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    Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'
    Car Magazine
    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.

    Full article at link.

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    It's really a shame. Daimler clearly didn't intend to do what was necessary to make the Maybach brand successful. Had the Maybach sedans looked special and not like an aging S-Class retaining water then their appeal would've been that much more significant. Then they made the mistake of never making even more special offerings like the Exelero Concept, which would've been such a fantastic sight on the road.

    In the end as I said they weren't willing to do it, and they paid the price. We'll see what the new Mercedes Pullman brings.

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Daimler failed Maybach by not following the same same formula that has made Mercedes and the entire luxury class of of automobiles successful -- compelling design and technology and a relentless stride to improvement.

    Maybach never improved. It was a highly modified S-Class. Sure, it was a bespoke automobile. But the design wasn't effective. And when it was (Excelero), it was never produced. And then there was Laundaulet. How many of those cars did Maybach sell? 1? 2? If you had a 1,500 acre British estate, the Laundaulet was a good car to have; otherwise, it was useless.

    There is a reason why the British excel at this level of luxury -- the invented it. I've driven a Maybach and an Azure. Both are impressive cars. But I'd take the Azure every time. There was a certain presence the car had that the Maybch just didn't.

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Never liked them. Never cared for them. I'm not surprised. Bentley and Rolls Royce make better cars than Maybach. Why would anyone choose a Maybach over them?

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphibian View Post
    It's really a shame. Daimler clearly didn't intend to do what was necessary to make the Maybach brand successful. Had the Maybach sedans looked special and not like an aging S-Class retaining water then their appeal would've been that much more significant. Then they made the mistake of never making even more special offerings like the Exelero Concept, which would've been such a fantastic sight on the road.

    In the end as I said they weren't willing to do it, and they paid the price. We'll see what the new Mercedes Pullman brings.
    We will see. These were never on my short list, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butz View Post
    Never liked them. Never cared for them. I'm not surprised. Bentley and Rolls Royce make better cars than Maybach. Why would anyone choose a Maybach over them?
    I'll be looking at a Bentley. That or a Cruze ECO.
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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    seems to me that Maybach's failure was inevitable because MB always put Mercedes first...


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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Quote Originally Posted by mgescuro View Post
    Daimler failed Maybach by not following the same same formula that has made Mercedes and the entire luxury class of of automobiles successful -- compelling design and technology and a relentless stride to improvement.

    Maybach never improved. It was a highly modified S-Class. Sure, it was a bespoke automobile. But the design wasn't effective. And when it was (Excelero), it was never produced. And then there was Laundaulet. How many of those cars did Maybach sell? 1? 2? If you had a 1,500 acre British estate, the Laundaulet was a good car to have; otherwise, it was useless.

    There is a reason why the British excel at this level of luxury -- the invented it. I've driven a Maybach and an Azure. Both are impressive cars. But I'd take the Azure every time. There was a certain presence the car had that the Maybch just didn't.
    I agree regarding presence. There was a used Arnage at a large Mercedes dealership near me not too far back. The S had more presence than the Maybach, in my opinion. The Maybach didn't even come close.

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Pretty pointless and soulless car. Fake pedigree, uninspiring overall design much like an ueber S-Class. Daimler could have and should have saved itself the trouble. Call the AMG-motorized stretched version of the S-Class Maybach or Pullman, adapt the grille a little. That's it.

    Competitor BMW seems to conquer all, particularly on opposite sides of the automotive spectrum. Its Rolls Royce division also had its best year ever last year. And its Mini division seems to score hit after hit.
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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    IMHO part of the problem was the Maybach vehicles out there looked too much like an over-wrought and over-glorified Hyundai. If I had the type of money that Maybach wanted for their cars and was intent on buying in that market segment, I would be looking elsewhere just because of that. Really, if you're going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a car, you're not going to want it to look like a run of the mill, plebian econobox on steroids. And that is what Maybach looked like.

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Quote Originally Posted by Butz View Post
    Never liked them. Never cared for them. I'm not surprised. Bentley and Rolls Royce make better cars than Maybach. Why would anyone choose a Maybach over them?
    It highly depends on what you define as "better". The British cars had way more style, both outside and in. On the technology front the Maybach smashes them. On the performance front the Maybach smashes them. For space and creature comforts, the Maybach smashes them. The Bentley Arnage was what the Maybach dealt with from Bentley for most of its life, a very dated, smaller, somewhat crude slab of old England (that I love, but that's the reality). The Phantom was the Maybach's only real competitor until the Mulsanne, and the Phantom was as good as the Maybach in most ways, though it lacked some features, the power, etc. Luckily, those things don't really define sales at this price point, but the Phantom's far superior aesthetic grace did. That's why the Rolls deserved and did decisively win the sales race (if you'd really call it a race).

    Of these sorts of machines, I'd take a Mulsanne over the rest, but the Maybach was a stunning machine in its own right. From the people I knew who experienced it even for a few minutes, it didn't drive like a big S. It was quieter, more soothing, and yet still a competent driver's car like the Roller. These ultra-luxury sedans are fantastic machines.

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    And so the last of "Daimlers Debackles" will soon be over. Mitsubishi, Chrysler, now Maybach.
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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Quote Originally Posted by megeebee View Post
    And so the last of "Daimlers Debackles" will soon be over. Mitsubishi, Chrysler, now Maybach.
    I guess after burning through the Chrysler Merger of Equals billions, they reached a point where losing 330 thou Euros per copy was no longer a viable way to do bidness? These guys would make good congresshomies.

    Wonder what el Rushbro will be buying when his Maybachs start wearing out/having electronic problems?
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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Quote Originally Posted by sfbreh View Post
    I agree regarding presence. There was a used Arnage at a large Mercedes dealership near me not too far back. The S had more presence than the Maybach, in my opinion. The Maybach didn't even come close.

    The S certainly has tremendous presence. And the S AMG's are head turners no matter what. Maybachs aren't. They looked dated about a year after launch.
    Forget it, when the Phantom, Ghost, and Mulsanne launched. They were all completely modern and higher competitive cars, compared to the Maybach.

    The catch is, in a couple of years, Mercedes will relaunch the Pullman, which may very well be the super-sedan Mercedes is looking for. The question still remains though, "Just how much higher can the Mercedes-Benz nameplate extend?" While no stranger to the $200,000 segment, can the Mercedes extend into the $300,000 without running into "better" name plates like Rolls-Royce and Bentley?

    IMHO, the Mercedes-Benz nameplate just isn't good enough. But, then again, we don't know what the Pullman is gonna be like. Not that I'm expecting it to pick up where the 600 left off, but one never knows.

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    Honestly I liked the look of these cars. I've only seen one on the road in person and it was stunning to see this car in action on the open road. Unfortunately it looks like this division got the same treatment as Chrysler and it's no surprise that they failed. Mercedes needs to either give these other divisions they have equal attention or just stuck to their one brand and stop killing other potentially great companies/jobs.

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    Re: Why Maybach closed: they 'lost €330,000 on each one'

    I think the name was the basic problem. It meant nothing to most people. probably if they could have used Daimler it may have had more success.
    I agree with the comments above about the Arnage having more presence. One of my family has an Arnage and it is a fine looking vehicle and exudes class.
    I don't know how the old 600 and Pullman sold in America but they did well here in Australia. In fact we were the best selling market for a few years and there are still a number around. MB will have to execute the new 600/Pullman better than they did the Maybach though. I haven't seen a Maybach on the road in Melbourne but I saw a couple when I was in Chengdu so i have seen them in the metal and they did at least look better than in photographs.

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