Mercedes-Benz Kills U.S. Sales of R Class Crossover: Report

2012 Mercedes-Benz R Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz R Class

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When it comes to sales of crossovers in the United States, Mercedes-Benz is doing very well with the M, GL and GLK Class product lines. The problem is that Mercedes-Benz also offers a fourth crossover option with its oddly-styled R Class, and that particular model line isn’t doing so well.  

In 2011, Mercedes-Benz sold just 2,385 of the minivan-shaped crossovers, a decline of nearly 19-percent from 2010. Compared to 2011 sales of the M Class (36,835 units), GL Class (25,139 units) and GLK Class (24,310 units), it became awfully difficult to make a business case for continued R Class sales in the United States.

Dealers here have moved a mere 178 units through February 2012, a decline of over 28-percent from the same period last year, and one more nail in the R Class’ coffin. Now comes word from Motoramic that Mercedes-Benz will kill off the Tuscaloosa, Alabama-built crossover in the U.S. at the end of the 2012 model year.

The R Class may be disappearing from U.S. showrooms soon, but the same isn’t true in foreign markets. In fact, R Class sales are booming in China, and sales in Canada and Mexico are strong enough to warrant production through 2015. Beyond that, an M Class-based replacement is said to be in the cards.

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