Are you the King of Spain, the Sultan of Brunai, Jay-Z, or the Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich? Check your mailbox. Volkswagen’s Bentley has sent you mail. Bentley wants to grieve with you over the passing of your beloved Maybach brand, and then, in a tasteful way, hopes will be expressed that your next car will be a Bentley.
In November, Daimler announced that it will bury Maybach (for an eulogy fittingly written by Jack Baruth, click here). This allegedly caused tears amongst the über-rich. Bentley Chief Executive Wolfgang Dürheimer told Reuters at the Detroit auto show that he already heard from some sad Maybach owners: “The comments I’m receiving aren’t very positive – they feel left alone.”
Well, it’s lonely at the top. To set themselves off from the riff-raff, current Maybach owners are unlikely to replace their $372,500 Maybach 57S with a Mercedes S350 Bluetec: $91,300 – never mind that the two look like twins. They are.
The thinking goes that Bentleys and Rollers are closer to the hearts of the clientele. A Bentley Mulsanne ($290,000 MSRP, excluding tax, title, license and destination charge) will look like a bargain compared to the lowest-priced Maybach, the 57. If you have money to burn (like the royalty in that video,) Bentley has a shop that caters to the strangest tastes, at a hefty surcharge.
Then, why send letters? At around 200 Maybachs sold in 2011, seeking an audience with the grieving owner would probably be more efficient. Bring Kleenex and brochures.