The ultra-luxury Maybach sedan. (Photo : REUTERS)
For an auto brand that barely sold a hundred vehicles annually in its dying years, the Maybach got quite a bit of notoriety. Even as Maybach dwindled into obscurity, the brand was flaunted by hip-hop stars from the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rick Ross - perhaps mostly because of the vehicle's enormous price tag. The Maybach 62, the model's final lineup, ran for around $400,000, making it an icon of wealth and success.
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The Maybach's last hurrah was a recent scandal involving a $54,000 UCLA scholarship for Justin Combs, the oldest son of hip hop mogul Sean "P Diddy" Combs. Two years prior, Diddy gave his son a black Maybach, complete with a red bow and chauffeur, for Justin's 16th Birthday. The Maybach was estimated at $360,000, which raised many questions about Justin's scholarship - because, clearly, he didn't need it.
Before that, the Maybach received some attention when Rick Ross formed an independent label, which he named Maybach music.
Outside of this, the Maybach has become a recent icon of hip-hop. A chopped-up Maybach appears in Jay-Z and Kanye's "Otis" music video, and the car can also be seen in the music video for "Y. U. Mad" by Lil Wayne, Birdman and Nicki Minaj.
Despite the Maybach's embrace by hip hop royalty, some have criticized the quality of the vehicle, saying its price tag is what makes it a luxury item, not its quality.
"It was a remarkably cynical effort by Daimler to use the halo of its Mercedes-Benz brand to justify prices of $350,000 to $1.4 million for an inferior automobile wrapped in a glitzy package," wrote Alex Taylor III, senior-editor-at-large of Fortune Magazine, on CNN Money. "Maybach strived for a prestige that it tried to ground on price alone."
After ending the Maybach brand in 2013, the German automaker Dailmerwill focus on its other luxury brand, the Mercedes-Benz.