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Michael Modecki, Founder of ThePlateBroker.com, discusses the secondary license plate market, growing opportunities for plate sales in the United States, and how the California “MM” plate is positioned to be the brand enabler international competition that Mercedes Maybach needs.
At the end of May 2022, Mercedes-Benz issued a press release outlining its long-term ambitions as the world’s most valuable luxury car brand and underlined its intention to shock people with the Maybach brand.
“The Mercedes Maybach brand identity is the most recognizable use of the letters ‘MM’ in the world, so of course they have been on my radar as a potential buyer,” said Michael Modecki, whose ThePlateBroker.com has listed the ultra-rare California ‘MM’ license plate for $24.3 million. “(The license plate) has been called many things: opulent, ridiculous, insane, amazing, extraordinary. People all over the world are talking about it and waiting to see who gets it. Right now it seems perfectly match the ambitions of Ola Källenius and Daniel Lescow,” referring to the CEO of Mercedes-Benz and the director of Maybach respectively.
The aftermarket for license plates is big business in many wealthy countries, appealing to the same demographic that Mercedes Maybach hopes to attract and retain. “Plates are an internationally recognized symbol of status and rarity. They are unique in design and function, so they are the epitome of exclusivity,” continued Modecki. “In comparison, look at the history of domain name values. Dot coms have become coveted assets, and companies are paying millions of dollars for short, easily identifiable ones. We see the same with usernames. on Insta(gram), Twitter and TikTok. From a marketing and visibility standpoint, I think owning the most valuable license plate in the world would benefit a luxury car brand whose goal is shock and excitement. ‘admiration.
Asked about the asking price, Modecki had this to say: “The current world record of $14.3 million was set in 2008. When you adjust for inflation, it’s just under $20 million. today. The asking price leaves no doubt that a new world record will be set when the plate sells out.
The idea of high value license plates may seem ridiculous to some, but the niche market attracts the right people. License plates have seen a steady increase in value over the past decade, making them a non-traditional investment opportunity. Modecki has added an NFT aspect to its plate offerings. “Ultimately, the value is in the plate and the ability to register it on a vehicle. NFT is intended to record ownership history on the blockchain forever. There is value in verifiable provenance “Personally, I think Maybach would be able to sell the plate in the future for a profit. Officially owned by the most valuable luxury car brand in the world? There are people who would buy that in an instant.”
For now, everything makes sense in theory. Despite releasing some fantastic plate deals in addition to MM (CASH, CINEMA, and COMPOSE, to name a few), ThePlateBroker has yet to close a big deal. “I’m not worried,” Modecki says enthusiastically. “It will happen.” His confidence is justified. Sales of license plates in other countries continue to make headlines around the world. It’s almost surprising that it hasn’t caught on in a market like California. Perhaps Mercedes-Maybach will shock us all and be the tipping point sought by ThePlateBroker.
Photos courtesy of ThePlateBroker.com and PalominoMotors.com