AM General Selected to Build Mercedes-Benz R-Class for China
Former Hummer Builder Takes Over Production of Minivan-Like Crossover
Remember the Mercedes-Benz R-Class? The minivan-like crossover was offered in all manner of crazy variations including the 500-plus hp R63 AMG. However, U.S. buyers never really warmed to the concept, and it was dropped stateside in 2013. But the R-Class is still quite popular in China, where minivans and similarly shaped vehicles aren’t saddled with the same un-hip image they carry in the U.S. Even after discontinuing U.S. sales, the R-Class continued to be built in Mercedes’ Tuscaloosa, Alabama, plant, expressly for export to China. However, the steady cadence of new products slated to come out of Tuscaloosa over the next several years, including the new GLE crossover “coupe,” are edging out the R-Class.
In order to continue to meet demand for the model in the Chinese market, contract manufacturer AM General is going to take over production of the R-Class and move it to its plant in Mishawaka, Indiana. AM General is best known as being the manufacturer of the military Humvee, the civilian-spec HUMMER H1, and building the HUMMER H2 under contract for General Motors. AM General’s other significant current product is the Mobility Ventures MV-1 wheelchair-accessible vehicle. Production of the R-Class in Mishawaka is scheduled to start this summer.
Source: AM General