Mercedes-Benz launched the G-Class, its first sports utility vehicle, more than 30 years ago. Since then, it has delivered more than two million units of G-Class, GLK-Class, GL-Class, R-Class and M-Class models to customers. Mercedes-Benz Cars' Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Dr. Joachim Schmidt commented that the company's "entire" SUV family is "extremely popular" among its customers, specifically in the USA and in China, which is its second biggest market.
Schmidt further commented that the SUVs are an "important pillar" of the company's growth. It has also achieved a new sales record each month beginning July 2010, he added. The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class will further increase sales, he said, adding that the model has "enjoyed fantastic customer response" to date.
In November 2011, 25,552 Mercedes-Benz SUVs (+23.4%) were delivered, hitting another monthly sales record. From January through November, a total of 221,518 units were delivered worldwide (+24.3%), more than ever before in this period.
The M-Class' successful run-out was particularly remarkable, as was the excellent beginning of its new models in the USA. GLK set a new peak with deliveries at a record high since the start of the year (+25.6%).
In order to satisfy the strong demand on China's market, the small SUV has been produced locally in the country since early December.
The other model series have also developed positively in the year to date with significant increases in sales. For one, R-Class sales increased by 50.3 percent while the G-Class posted growth of 30.9 percent. On the other hand, GL sales rose by 28.9 percent while deliveries of the M-Class were up 15.8% even with the model change.
In the coming year, the new generations of the GLK and the G-Class as well as the new GL are expected to create additional demand in the SUV segment.
There is no stopping the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class from setting new standards among sport utility vehicles. It dominates in several areas like driving dynamics, energy efficiency, passive safety, ride comfort and interior ergonomics. Compared to their predecessor, the entire M-Class range consumes 25 percent less fuel, which marks the first time that Mercedes-Benz was able to reduce fuel consumption of an SUV by such a large margin with a model change.
This was achieved by employing ultra-modern engines, attaining a coefficient of drag value of 0.32 Cd and implementing an array of BlueEFFICIENCY measures. Mercedes was also able to achieve such reduction in fuel consumption by employing new development tools like the "energy-transparent vehicle."
To illustrate the gains attained by these measures, the new ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC is around 28 percent more fuel efficient than the previous, with consumption figure of just 6.0 liters per 100 km (NEDC driving cycle), which means it could travel up to 1,500 kilometers on a single tank of fuel. Emissions figure is 158 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. At Mercedes-Benz, a holistic safety concept of Real Life Safety is being preached.
This concept – based on what occurs during a real accident – is appropriately embodied in the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class. For instance, the new M-Class boasts of a high-strength passenger cell as well as front and rear deformation zones – allowing for effective occupant protection systems. Moreover, the active and driver-fitness safety in the new M-Class are now augmented by assistance systems already found in Mercedes S-Class and E-Class.
As standard, all M-Class models are developed to offer outstanding comfort and dynamic handling, thanks to a steel suspension with selective damping and a number of new chassis developments.
Likewise, all models could be specified with available dynamic handling control systems – like the Airmatic air suspension with Adaptive Damping System (ADS); the On&OffRoad package with six driving modes; and the Active Curve System for active roll stabilization – all designed to deliver an effortless superior SUV driving experience. Likewise, Mercedes ensured that the M-Class delivers segment-leading acoustic and vibration comfort through an all-inclusive package of measures.