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AM General Selected to Continue Mercedes R-Class Production

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/27/2015 Erick Ayapana

Pretty soon the mighty Humvee will have something in common with the Mercedes-Benz R-Class. AM General, maker of the Humvee, and Mercedes announced today that the three-row R-Class crossover will be built at AM General’s Commercial Assembly Plant in Mishawaka, Ind.

The R-Class was last sold in the U.S. in 2012 after the minivan-like crossover failed to win the hearts of American buyers. It is, however, still popular in China, which is why Mercedes continues to build the R-Class at its plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., before exporting it across the Pacific. 2011-mercedes-benz-r350-side-view-3© Provided by MotorTrend 2011-mercedes-benz-r350-side-view-3

That said, the Tuscaloosa plant has been very busy. In addition to the R-Class, the plant builds most of Benz’s crossovers including the M-, GLK-, and GL-Class. The recently unveiled GLE-Class, which is based on the M-Class, will also be built in Alabama. Moving R-Class production out of Tuscaloosa will free up much-needed capacity for Benz to build those core crossovers.

AM General points out that it is Benz’s first and only manufacturing contractor in the U.S. It says it will hire hundreds of new workers dedicated to its new R-Class production line, which is expected to start this summer. The companies state that this is a “multi-year agreement,” though it’s unclear exactly how long R-Class production will continue or if the crossover is slated for a second-generation model. 2011-Mercedes-Benz-R350-BlueTec-front-three-quarter© Provided by MotorTrend 2011-Mercedes-Benz-R350-BlueTec-front-three-quarter

Source: AM General, Daimler

2011-mercedes-benz-r350-front-side-view-3© Provided by MotorTrend 2011-mercedes-benz-r350-front-side-view-3
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