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MONTVALE, N.J. — Years of poor sales of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class crossover vehicle and growing sales of the company’s other SUVs have led the German luxury automaker to nix the vehicle in the American market. The 2012 R-Class, exhibited in recent years at LCT trade shows, will be the last year for the crossover in the United States.
As of March 1, Mercedes only sold 293 R-Class units in the U.S. in 2012, compared to 3,185 GL-Classes, 3,606 GLK-Classes, and 7,410 M-Classes the company has sold in the same time period, according to Motor Trend Magazine.
The vehicle will continue to be manufactured at the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and exported to global markets where it does well, such as Canada, Mexico, Europe and especially China.
Mercedes will continue to produce the R-Class through 2015 due to its popularity in China, and after that, they will likely replace it with a new creation based on the M-Class SUV.
The R-Class has been seen in limousine fleets in recent years because operators enjoy its all-wheel-drive capabilities, luggage space and interior space and comfort. It’s powered by a 302-hp, 273-lb-ft 3.5-liter V-6 in the U.S.-market.
The departure of the R-Class from the U.S. auto market and the chauffeured transportation industry eliminates the sole crossover styled competitor to the 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car, rolling out this week to replace the retired Lincoln Town Car Executive L.
Figures on the number of R-Class vehicles sold to the chauffeured transportation industry were unavailable.
Source: Mercedes-Benz via Motor Trend Magazine and Autoblog.
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