For the first time, Mercedes-Benz USA will put the R class on TV, spending up to 15 percent of its summer/fall advertising budget on the slow-selling crossover, says Steve Cannon, vice president of marketing.
The R class has been revamped for the 2011 model year, and the spots will run from August through October. Cannon declined to give spending figures.
The face-lift could be a final effort to boost sales of the vehicle. Since the crossover's debut in the fall of 2005, Cannon says, Mercedes has done little to promote it aside from brochures and limited online exposure. The vehicle has never hit its original sales expectations of more than 20,000 vehicles annually.
U.S. sales of the R class peaked at 18,168 units in 2006; by 2009, they had slumped to 2,825 units. Through May of this year, only 1,223 had been sold.
As for the revamped model, Cannon says: "We are planning conservatively. We will see a double-digit percentage bump over today's relatively low levels."