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West Ala. Mercedes Plant Begins Production on Updated SUV Crossover

By Associated Press

Vance, AL – An updated version of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class crossover is expected to start rolling off the automaker's Alabama assembly lines.

Felyicia Jerald, a spokeswoman for Mercedes' Vance factory, says the first customer-ready R-Class, should be completed Tuesday. It's been redesigned for the 2011 model year.

Mercedes launched the R-Class in 1995 and touted it as a vehicle that features the elements of an SUV, a sedan and a luxury wagon.

The redesign is an attempt to improve its U.S. popularity.

The vehicle has been successful in China, where nearly half of all Mercedes R-class vehicles are sold.

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