GERMAN-MADE super-luxury car Maybach has made inroads in American pop culture in recent times. Seen as a status symbol for high-profile artistes, rapper Rick Ross paid homage to the vehicle by naming his record label Maybach Music Group.
But despite the endorsements, automakers Daimler AG pulled the plug on the line.
"If a brand is going to be discontinued, it means that brand, in recent years, has not been as successful as it used to be or what the owners had forecast," said Kent LaCroix, chairman of Jamaica's new-car umbrella group Automobile Dealers Association.
LaCroix was correct in his assessment, as a mere 3,000 Maybach units were sold worldwide since the brand's revival to the market in 2002.
Founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach, Daimler AG used Maybach for a decade to compete with Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
"As far as I know, there is none in Jamaica," LaCroix told Auto.
According to CNN Money, at US$350,000 to US$1.4 million, the Maybach strived for a prestige that it tried to ground on price alone. The wealthy figured it out in a hurry and stayed away in droves. Even the booming luxury car market in China was not enough to move Maybach off the starting line.
Maybe it was the car's wealth of rear-seat features such as its reclined aeroplane-like business class with pillowed headrests and extended footrests. Or, maybe it was its in-car refrigerators, cigar humidors and other appurtenances thought to be essential for membership in the upper classes. But the ill-fated luxury line was a sure hit in pop culture.
American rapper/producer P Diddy (Sean Combs) got his son Justin a US$360,000 Maybach for his 16th birthday. Rap sensations Kanye West and Jay-Z are seen destroying one in the 2011 video Otis.
The females are not be outdone. Britney Spears drives one in the 2008 video Womaniser, while last year Korean pop group Girls' Generation featured Jessica sitting in a Maybach 57 in their video Time Machine.
LaCroix said current owners would not have a problem accessing parts for their vehicles.
"Some parts are available up to 10 years after a model is discontinued, so that won't be a problem to current owners," he said.