Mercedes-Benz secured military contracts for the vehicle in the late 1970s and offered a civilian version in 1979. A major reason to start development was the need of the German Army for a light military vehicle. Without any joint test the cheaper Volkswagen Iltis were chosen, but since 1990 it is replaced by the G-Class "Wolf" and LAPV Enok. After a design change to a civilian cross-country vehicle in co-operation with the Austrian car manufacturer Steyr-Daimler-Puch, production of the G-Class began in 1979 with the 460 Series models. The G-Class has been sold under the Puch name in certain markets, and the Peugeot P4 is a variant made under license, with a Peugeot engine and different parts.
Despite the introduction of an intended replacement, the unibody crossover SUV Mercedes-Benz GL-Class in 2006, the G-Class is still produced and is expected to continue in production until 2015.Source: Wikipedia