The carmaker that gave us such lavish automobiles as the 57, 62, Landaulet, and Exelero has gone to the great cobblestone driveway in the sky: Mercedes-Benz officially declared the Maybach sub-brand dead today.
The acknowledgement came in the form of the Mercedes-Benz price sheet, which reportedly put the word “discontinued” next to each Maybach model name. Autocar‘s further reporting found out that the last of the Maybach cars left its assembly point some time in June, and that the company does still have a limited inventory that’s still on sale. Unfortunately for potential buyers, those cars are alreadymanufactured and can’t be customized like previous, made-to-order Maybachs. As such, new Maybach-customers will have to procuretheir luxury limos off the lot, like the other 99% of the car-buying public.
Production and sales of the first Maybachs may have been halted by World War II–the brand started in 1909 and stopped making cars in 1940, switching to tanks until ’45, and focused on engines after the war – but Maybach’s 21st-century revival was halted by low sales. Sales of 57 and 62 limos peaked at 244 units in 2004 but dwindled to under 100 towards the end of the 2000s. As such, Daimler announced in 2011 that the brand would cease to be by 2013.
That isn’t to say that the long, luxurious Maybach cars weren’t completely unpopular. The brand’s most famous (unpaid) spokesman was rap superstar Rick Ross, who named his record label after the brand, calling it the Maybach Music Group. Rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z famously chopped a 57 and raced it around a vacant lot for their “Otis” music video, later selling the car for $60,000 at auction and donating the proceeds to Save the Children.
It appears that hip-hop music will have to migrate to another ride of choice, and Daimler has just the thing: its next Mercedes-Benz S-Class will have a stretched, Maybach substitute option, the Pullman. Whether or not the name “Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Music Group” has a ring to it is for Ross to decide.