Daimler has announced that their high-end and highly exclusive Maybach car brand will be discontinued as of 2013. The car, which was relaunched in 2002 and hasn’t turned a profit since, has become a strain on the company, which will now focus its attentions on Mercedes and the competition between it and both BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi.
The starting price for a Maybach is about $375,000, which explains why only 200 of them were sold last year. According to The Wall Street Journal, the cars were re-introduced in order to compete with the Rolls Royce and Bentley, which were purchased by the rivals BMW and Volkswagen, respectively. The Maybach was first introduced in the 1920s.
“Daimler’s management has been searching for a fix for Maybach for years, and until recently considered partnering with British sports-car maker Aston Martin to help lower its production costs. But developing more demand for the über-luxury brand proved perhaps an even more vexing problem,” the paper’s blog writes.
One group that immediately embraced the Maybach were hip hop stars, who included the funky-fresh ride in a lot of their lyrics. MTV notes that they’ve already moved on to the Bugatti anyway. You can watch Kanye and Jay-Z modify a Maybach in the “Otis” video above. Kanye says in the song that he’s got “another ‘nother Benz,” so Daimler should still have hope for the hip hop market.
Otherwise, here’s a case where the brand had caché but the bottom line didn’t match.