GRAZ (Austria): Production of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class has started and it's predominantly being hand-built at Magna Steyr.
The looks of the new G-Class has not changed significantly since 1979 and still maintains its iconic features that includes a spare wheel on the tailgate and its exterior protective strip.
The production plant has access to a test track on the local mountain of Graz, the Schöckl and one test kilometre on the track corresponds to 50km in actual operation.
The birth of the G-Class dates back to 1972 - a consignment agreement between Daimler-Benz AG (today Daimler AG) and Steyr-Daimler-Puch (today Magna Steyr) in Graz, Austria.
This laid the foundation for a decade long success story of the legendary G-Class where the decision to put it into series production came three years later in 1975.
Simultaneously, there was a decision to construct a new plant in Graz and on Feb 1, 1979, the production of the G-Class began.
This makes the G-Class by far the longest-serving passenger car model built in Mercedes-Benz's history and thus the ancestor of all SUVs with the three-pointed star.
Since then, over 300,000 vehicles have been produced and unit sales of the G-Class has grown continuously since 2009, and starting in 2012 the G-Class.
In 2017 another mark was outpaced, the ancestor of the SUV, the G-Class, achieved a new sales record with over 22,000 units sold in a year. The most important sales markets for the G-Class were the USA and Germany.
“The new G-Class is raising the bar higher in all relevant areas. Our 'longest-serving' series is therefore perfectly equipped to continue its success story. In short, the new 'G' remains a 'G', only better”, said
Daimler AG head of group research (Mercedes-Benz Cars development) and member of the Board of Management Ola Källenius.