Audi has Bentley, BMW has Rolls-Royce (check out our review of the $400k Phantom!), and Mercedes-Benz has Maybach. Both Bentley and Rolls-Royce have proven to be valuable upper echelon assets for their respective parent companies, but Maybach has never made it that far. Expected to sell around 600 units per year, the exclusive marque only managed to move 164 units in the U.S. last year.

Mercedes recently made a move to minimize its losses by reducing the number of Maybach dealerships in the U.S. from 71 to 42. Though many Maybach dealerships are attached to Mercedes-Benz dealerships, owners were still forced to spend around a half a million dollars to build special "studios" that pampered the ultra-rich who were interested in a Maybach.

In order to close a Maybach dealership, however, Mercedes offers compensation those dealers who invested in the brand. Unfortunately, the automaker is only paying out 25 cents on the dollar, meaning a dealer who invested $500,000 is only getting $125,000 back. Buying high and selling low is not the best investment decision, but then again, neither is buying a Maybach.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]