The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV), first offered in 1997 as a 1998 model, and built by the German automaker Mercedes-Benz. Gradually, the M-Class became a sales success in the United States and Mexico. In terms of size, it is slotted in between the smaller GLK-Class (based on the C-Class) and the larger GL-Class, with which it shares platforms. For a short time, between the years 1999 to 2002, the M-Class was also built by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, for the European market, before all production moved to the U.S. plant near Vance, Alabama. In 1990, Mercedes-Benz proposed a plan to replace the G-Class, which at the time had been in production for 11 years. A joint agreement with Mitsubishi Motors to develop and produce a sports-utility vehicle was made in early 1991 and was confirmed publicly that June. Plans were made to base it off the Montero/Pajero platform, with one of them being badged as a Mercedes-Benz and the other a Mitsubishi.
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