AM General Starts Mercedes-Benz R-Class Production, Only China Will Get the Minivan

For those with deep sympathy for the brand with the three-pointed star logo, a model like the R-Class can only be described as a flop both in terms of sales and popularity.
Mercedes-Benz R-Class 1 photo
However, some think the car is good enough for China, where there's a market for the luxury minivan.

So after earlier this year AM General and Mercedes-Benz struck a multi-year agreement to move production of the R-Class luxury vehicle from Tuscaloosa to Indiana, they now tell us the first Mercedes-Benz R-Class rolled off the production line.

"We take the needs of our Chinese customers seriously and, therefore, continue to produce the R-Class, which is very popular in China. We have found the ideal partner for this project with AM General. As a production specialist, AM General reliably fulfils the high requirements in terms of processes and especially quality, which globally apply to the production of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars," said Jason Hoff, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz US International.

As you probably know, AM General was tasked with assembling the Hummer H2 for GM so they should be able to handle the R-Class.

Launched in 2006, the R-Class came to the market with the luxury MPV badge, but it didn't manage to live up to its status.

The R-Class' Sales were not Mercedes-Benz had in mind for the MPV. The Germans planned to sell around 50,000 a year, with half of units destined for the United States, but that never happened.

To have a bigger picture, we'll mention that in 2007, only 13,031 vehicles were sold in the US. The model's failure was explained by the crowded marketplace, poor marketing positioning, and fuel efficiency concerns among consumers at the time the vehicle was launched.

press release

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories