Click image above for a high-res gallery of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen Edition30

At a time when many coachbuilders are struggling and/or leaving the industry, it's nice to hear news of fresh long-term contracts. Magna Steyr has just announced that it has had its contract with Mercedes-Benz extended to continue building the G-Class (a.k.a. Geländewagen) until at least the end of 2015.

Around 200,000 examples of the rugged, boxy SUV have been built thus far by the Austrian manufacturer at its Graz facility over the last 30 years. The contract builder currently builds five door (like we have in the U.S.), three-door and convertible bodystyles, along with special editions and bespoke commissioned models like the 1,200 Australian army units it churned out last year. Official press release after the jump, high-res galleries of the new Edition30 and historical G-Wagen images below.



[Source: Magna Steyr]

PRESS RELEASE:

Mercedes-Benz Extends G-Class Production at Magna Steyr Until 2015

OBERWALTERSDORF, Austria, February 26, 2009 – Magna Steyr, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., announced today that it has signed an agreement with Daimler AG to extend the Mercedes-Benz G-Class production at Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria until 2015.

Magna Steyr is currently producing the Mercedes-Benz G-Class in convertible, three-door and five-door versions as well as custom-built models. The G-Class, which has been produced in Graz for over 30 years with an overall production volume of approximately 200,000 vehicles, remains popular with consumers and governments. In November of last year Mercedes-Benz accepted an order from the Australian Government for 1,200 G-Class vehicles in various versions for their army fleet.

"This program extension is clear evidence of Magna's stability", stated Siegfried Wolf, Co-CEO of Magna International. "Magna has one of the strongest balance sheets in the supply industry with a net cash position of US$ 1.5 bn. This allows us to further strengthen Magna for the future. Our strong basis is also appreciated by our customers as they recognize Magna as a solid, long-term and reliable partner."

"Furthermore this extension underlines the quality and competitiveness of Magna Steyr," Mr. Wolf added. "We are very excited about this, especially for our employees because it is their achievements that made it possible to secure this successful outcome following intensive negotiations with our partner Daimler AG. I would also like to thank Daimler AG for their continued confidence in us – something which is very important in view of the difficult phase in which the automotive industry currently finds itself. The G-Class also has a high symbolic value for automotive manufacturing in Styria, having been produced in Graz for over 30 years. This extension is therefore also an important and very positive signal for the automotive industry in Styria."

About Magna Steyr:

Magna Steyr, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., is the leading global, brand-independent engineering and manufacturing partner to the OEMs. Magna Steyr's capabilities range from development and manufacturing of components and systems up to engineering and assembly of complete vehicles.

About Magna International:

Magna International (www.magna.com) is the most diversified automotive supplier in the world. We design, develop and manufacture automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components, and engineer and assemble complete vehicles, primarily for sale to original equipment manufacturers of cars and light trucks in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Our capabilities include the design, engineering, testing and manufacture of automotive interior systems; seating systems; closure systems; metal body and structural systems; vision systems; electronic systems; exterior systems; powertrain systems; roof systems; as well as complete vehicle engineering and assembly.

Magna has approximately 74,000 employees in 240 manufacturing operations and 86 product development, engineering and sales centers in 25 countries.

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