Maybach was launched with a flourish in 2002 when a helicopter plucked the first one off the deck of the Queen Elizabeth 2 in New York harbor and deposited it on the dock. Nine years later, the QE2 has managed to avoid the scrap yard, but Maybach may not be so fortunate. To compete with an all-new Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Mercedes rushed out two re-bodied S-class cars, christened them with an historic German car brand, and priced them in the stratosphere -- upwards of $400,000. Even the super-rich could see through the sheet metal. A mere 20 Maybachs have found buyers this year.

Last updated June 03 2011: 9:20 AM ET
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