The Mercedes R-Class might not be entirely dead.
Currently only available in China, the German automaker axed the R-Class in all other major markets in 2013 due to slow sales. First introduced on the market in 2006, the Mercedes R-Class got updated in 2010 with some major styling changes, but that didn’t help the popularity of the luxury minivan-esque model. But the market has changed in the last few years, with more crossovers invading and grabbing a large hold of the automotive market and Mercedes admits it could have pulled the plug on the R-Class too hastily.
At the recent launch of the new Mercedes GLE and GLE Coupe models in Europe, the automaker’s vice-president of product group SUVs and sports cars, Wolf-Dieter Kurz, admits that the R-Class is under consideration for a revival. In speaking about adding more variants and opportunities for the crossover and SUV segments, Kurz said “There was already one that we had in the portfolio – maybe we were too early – which was the R-Class, which we are still selling in China. It’s doing good, with 12,000 to 14,000 units per year.”
While it’s not directly stating that Mercedes will revive the R-Class, Kurz hints at the idea. If the R-Class does get revived, expect it to depart away from its traditional minivan and station wagon design to more of a crossover, especially since the U.S. market isn’t very receptive to wagons and minivans now.
Discuss this story at our Mercedes-Benz Forum