Stronger than time: new G-Class rocks Detroit

World premiere Mercedes-Benz, Detroit 2018

A formerly grand theatre became the stage for the world premiere of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The show under the dome of the former Michigan Theatre perfectly repre­sented the product claim “stronger than time” and provided the iconic picture of the Detroit Auto Show 2018. (...)

A formerly grand theatre became the stage for the world premiere of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The show under the dome of the former Michigan Theatre perfectly repre­sented the product claim “stronger than time” and provided the iconic picture of the Detroit Auto Show 2018. And the legendary Mercedes model was accom­pa­nied by another iconic figure: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Built in 1925, the Michigan Theatre at that time accom­mo­dated 4,000 guests. It saw stars like Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Doris Day cele­brating their big successes. Since the mid-seven­ties however, the once magnif­i­cent building with its lavish Renais­sance-style ceiling carves out a sad exis­tence as a sordid parking block - without losing any of its time­less fasci­na­tion, even in decay.

For almost 40 years, the theatre has been waiting for its revival. The premiere of the new G-Class and its campaign slogan “stronger than time” provided the perfect occa­sion for it. Since it was first built in Graz/Austria, in 1979, the G-Class has been the longest running series of models by Mercedes-Benz. Across the decades, it defied the zeit­geist and main­tained its typical features and strong char­acter.

LED sculpture and 40 degree steep off-road ramps on stage

OSK staged the new edition of the strap­ping classic, which once prompted the creation of the word “off-road vehicle”, in the impres­sive theater setting as a multi­media storm of the elements with barn­storming live effects - leaves whirling around, thunder and light­ning, wind and fire. Three G-Class vehicle crested the LED sculp­ture with 40 degree steep ramps, on which the SUV had already proven its driving dynamics and cross-country mobility during its static premiere.

For the imposing final scene the G-Class sat enthroned on the peak, like a deer on a rock, sublime, defying every­thing else, only the Renais­sance dome of the former theater above, a picture truly “stronger than time”.

And the applause of the about 550 jour­nal­ists, blog­gers and VIPs had hardly ebbed away, when yet another iconic figure appeared on stage: Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche welcomed, as a surprise guest, Arnold Schwarzenegger, born in Graz like the G-Class and for 25 years enthu­si­astic fan and driver of the model.

The result: paramount global media coverage for both brand and model - and an entry in the Detroit history book.

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