Mercedes-Benz Can’t Quit The R-Class

R Class

Hey, wasn’t there an American political party that was real big with the whole “stay the course” mentality that recently got its butt handed to it, voice of the people wise?

Looks like Mercedes hasn’t been paying attention, because they’re going that route with their R-Class Seda- wago-… just what IS this thing anyway.

You all know what the R-Class is right? Mercedes calls it a crossover, but it looks like cross between an SUV, a minivan and a Pontiac Vista Cruise station wagon from the late 60s. Only HUGE. Really really big.

Somewhere along the line, the product planners at Mercedes decided that what America really wanted was something as big as an SUV, but shaped like a wagon. Why they thought this was a good idea, nobody knows, but the market has spoken, more or less, and up to this point sales have been “disappointing”

R-Class sales peaked in early 2006, when Mercedes dealers were selling the R-Class at a rate of 2,500 units per month. Sadly, sort of, that figure has decreased in almost every succeeding month, resulting in a total of just 7,733 R-Class sales for all of 2008. A 40.7 percent drop off from 2007. Mercedes-Benz sold about 18,000 R-Classes in 2007, which was a 28 percent decrease from 2006.

Mercedes-Benz was planning on selling 25,000 R-Class sales per year.

Watch out for that rock skipper!

Mercedes refuses to give up on the R-Class though. They’ve updated it twice and there’s another update on the way for 2010. Mercedes-Benz isn’t too optimistic that things will get better anytime soon though. They admit the R-Class tries a bit too hard to be all things to all people.

Ernst Lieb, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, told Automotive News, “We have reached the level we can sell it, we plan to stay at this volume.”


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