British luxury carmaker Bentley is approaching rival Maybach’s clients, who include Samuel L. Jackson, Jay-Z and King Juan Carlos of Spain, in order to profit from Daimler AG’s move to kill off the ultra-luxury brand.
“The withdrawal of Maybach is a business opportunity for us and we’re going to use it,” Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer told Reuters at the North American International Auto Show this week. Daimler announced in November it planned to end production of Maybachs, priced from $380,000.
One of the world’s strongest wealth symbols, the Maybach brand also counts on Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and the Sultan of Brunei as devoted customers. According to the Bentley boss, the British car manufacturer has already discussed with some Maybach clients and is in the process of writing to others.
“The comments I’m receiving aren’t very positive, they feel left alone,” Duerheimer said about Maybach customers. Bentley and Rolls-Royce are hoping owners of the German brand will choose their top models, the Mulsanne and the Phantom, while Daimler wants to keep Maybach clients by offering pricier variants of the S-Class starting next year.
A Rolls-Royce spokesman said the company would also welcome any Maybach customers “but seeking them out and hunting them down is not the Rolls-Royce way.”