Once designed to be a rugged off-roader and a light military vehicle for the German Army, the Mercedes G-Class has become one of the most iconic luxury SUVs today. Now it has been reported the Geländewagen will be built until 2020.
According to German website Automobilwoche, Mercedes’ parent company Daimler has reached an agreement with Magna Steyr to extend the production of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class in the Austrian city of Graz.
Before reaching an agreement about extending the production of the Mercedes G-Class, Daimler demanded more favorable conditions ‒ a better price ‒ from Magna and threatened to move the production to Hungary. It appears this has been avoided as the new deal imply the luxurious Mercedes off-roader will be continued to be built in Austria.
Magna Steyr engineers, develop and assemble automobiles for other companies on a contractual basis. The history of the Mercedes G-Class is intertwined to the Austrian factory. The G-Class was designed by Austrian manufacturing conglomerate Steyr-Daimler-Puch. The automobile production section of this company is nowadays a subsidiary of Magna International, a Canadian automotive supplier.
Their plant in Graz started the production of the G-Class in 1979. Besides the production, the further development of the G-Class by Mercedes-Benz is also located in Graz. The company made almost 7,200 G-Class vehicles in 2011 and the number is set to rise to 8,500 this year. For next year the company targets an annual production of 10,000.
The G-Class is the longest produced Mercedes-Benz in Daimler’s history and it will be until at least 2020. Quite an impressive lifespan for a car which entered the market in 1979.
[Via Automobilwoche.de and Autoblog.nl]