Discontinuing a car line isn't like closing a Broadway show or cancelling a television series. In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in sunk cost, a lot of marginal profit is being sacrificed -- the profitability of a car line can actually increase as it ages because the development costs have been amortized.
But at some point, a mercy killing for the weak is required. Sales have fallen too low, another model has come along to replace it in the product lineup, or the car has simply become an embarrassment.
At least two of the three were the reasoning behind Daimler's decision to stop making all five Maybach models in June, six months ahead of schedule. Often compared to an airport executive lounge on wheels, the car never found an audience among either the established or nouveau rich. Its sales had sunk to a pitiable level. Through July, only seven Maybachs had found buyers this year vs. 224 for Rolls-Royce, according to numbers compiled by Automotive News.
Here are some other models that will be breathing their last at one point or another in 2013:
Low sales, consolidation, making way for a redesign - whatever the reason, it's R.I.P. for these 2012 autos.