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Mercedes-Benz Kills Ultra Luxury Maybach Line

However, Mercedes now announced that Maybach, which offers production cars that range in base price from $372,500 to more than $1.3 million, will cease to exist as a brand in 2013. In the end, the experiment to sell an extremely expensive car that looked too much like the Mercedes S-class has failed and customers in Hollywood and the Middle East can return to Bentley and Rolls-Royce for vehicles in the $500,000 neighborhood.

Mercedes justified the move that a new S-class has much better revenue opportunities than the Maybach. According to chairman Dieter Zetsche, the upcoming S-class is a "superior" vehicle that can replace the Maybach. That may also be the case for the price, as the most recent S-class reaches a price level of $211,000 for the S65 AMG model. Add a few more thousand dollars for the next-generation model.

Mercedes re-introduced the Maybach brand in 2002 and left the 57 and 62 models virtually unchanged since then. A highlight was the two-door Exelero which was built for tire manufacturer Fulda. Rapper Birdman announced in May of this year that he had purchased the one-off Exelero for $8 million. The car is scheduled for a December delivery. Birdman already owns a $1.4 million Maybach Landaulet.