Mercedes-Benz has announced the start of production of the new G-Class in Graz, Austria. Since 1979, Magna Steyr has produced the G-Class on behalf of the Stuttgart-based brand.

The automaker says the Magna Steyr plant’s close proximity to Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz G GmbH, which is also based in Graz, facilitates “numerous synergies thanks to the well-functioning high degree of networking between development, engineering, the prototype workshop, testing and series production”.

Mercedes says the highlight of the plant is the famous test track on a local mountain, the Schöckl.

“With the model change, the new G-Class experienced the biggest transformation in its 39-year-old history. At the same time, we have kept the familiar and popular features of the design icon and further optimised the 'G' where ride comfort and robustness are concerned,” said Gunnar Güthenke, head of the Off-Road Product Group at Mercedes-Benz.

“The superior development goal for the new G-Class was to improve the off-road capabilities even more. For the production we continue to trust in our experienced production partner 39 years, Magna Steyr.”

Since its introduction in 1979, more than 300 000 examples of the Geländewagen have been produced, with sales growing continuously since 2009. Indeed, in 2017 the outgoing G-Class achieved a new sales record, with more than 22 000 units sold.