2012 Mercedes-Benz R ClassEnlarge Photo
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.