Mercedes celebrates 20 years of its M-Class
Originally it was the legendary (as also today) G Class, but it was with the M Class unveiled and produced since February 1997 as the ML 320 at the American factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which Mercedes has entered definitively in the newborn segment of SUVs.
Both the G Class (assembled since 1979) and the M Class have been precursors to the current range of sports utility models developed by the Star brand, made up of GLA, GLC, GLS and GLE models (as well as G).
The 1997 M Class (the project was born four years earlier) was preceded by the AAVision preview studio on display at Naias in Detroit in 1996.
The standard SUV then turned out to be an important commercial success celebrating the first millionth unit produced in Tuscaloosa in 2009 and contributing to the overcoming of the 2.4 million units milestone at the end of 2016 along with the GLE, GLE Coupé and GLS successors.