click above to view more images of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class

That the R-Class has not been the most successful vehicle in the history of Mercedes-Benz is no big secret, but after staunchly espousing its virtues for year, the automaker has finally admitted it. And as any recovering addict could tell you, admitting you have a problem is the first step on the long road to recovery.

Mercedes had pegged production of the crossover at its Vance, Alabama, plant at 50,000 units annually, with half of that staying in the United States. Last year, however, American dealerships sold only 18,000 units. According to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, the R-Class "has definitely not lived up to our original plans."

Mercedes is planning a replacement for R-Class, and while it could retain the same big CUV/wagon set-up, the next R is more likely to take another format altogether. Mercedes biggest competitor at BMW, meanwhile, is evidently thinking otherwise with the X6 crossover it just unveiled yesterday.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]

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