Maybachs on Bachs loosing Stacks on Stacks
“Racks on Racks on Racks, Maybachs on Bachs on Bachs on Bachs on Bachs” – “Otis” by Kanye West and Jay Z
The song was a hit, but the high-end car manufacture hasn’t been. Daimler AG lost at least $439,000 US dollars on each Maybach it built since reintroducing the car brand in 2003. Daimler AG, best known for being the owners of the Mercedes-Benz Corporation, has spent more than a reasonable amount of their earnings trying to hold their weight in the Ultra-Luxury Car market. Their two main competitors are BMW’s Rolls-Royce, and Volkswagen AG’s Bentley.
In 1908, Wilhelm Maybach built his first car. He took a new Mercedes and made it better. His best creations are considered the 1929 Zeppelin DS 8 Cabriolet, the 1936 SW 38 Limousine, and the 1939 SW 38 Roadster. To understand Maybach, you have to understand its heritage; Designed to be a low production, high quality company, Maybach was always going the extra step (and four more after that) to make things better in nearly every aspect than the competition. The cars were faster, quieter, smoother, roomier, and more luxurious than anything else. Of course, they came with a price. Only the extremely wealthy and royal blood had these cars. The cars were treated as family jewels, and were passed through the generations. They were more than just machines, they were artwork and often indicative to a royal family –much like a family crest. A diary traveled with the car, from owner to owner, and documented things such as: who previous owners were, destinations to which the car had traveled, and special occasions in which the car had been involved. These cars have become heavily sought after items; they are a piece of history.
In 2003, under Mercedes-Benz, Maybach was resurrected after over 50 years. They aimed to re-establish the name Maybach had come to represent the many years before. The ultra-high luxury machines were highly customizable, and things such as reclining rear seats, built-in refrigerators, and sky lights came standard. The base price ranged anywhere from $400,000 to $750,000. 600 Maybachs were sold in 2003, and that number has trickled down to only about 200 per year now. Over $1.3 Billion has been lost on “Project Maybach Resurrection”, so plans to cut production by 2013 comes as no surprise. In return for Maybach closing shop, Mercedes is fully expected to come to offer its own line of ultra luxury cars to continually give Bentley and Rolls-Royce competition. A new era for Mercedes is coming.