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Stuttgart, 11.10.11 – No other automotive brand has had more success in the "Golden Steering Wheel" awards than Mercedes-Benz. This year's Europe-wide vote saw the M-Class and the SLK each win their respective category. These two first places put the Stuttgart-based premium-brand manufacturer at the very top of the "Golden Steering Wheel" all-time winners' list. Mercedes-Benz has won the award, one of the most important distinctions in the European automotive industry, a total of 21 times. The awards were presented to Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Daimler AG Board of Management member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, in Berlin last night.

More than 260,000 readers of the German publications "Bild am Sonntag", "Auto Bild" and their European sister publications in 22 countries registered their votes in this year's "Golden Steering Wheel" awards. The winner of the SUV class was determined in a direct vote, so making the Mercedes-Benz M-Class the winner of the "Golden Steering Wheel" in this group. The SLK won its category after being shortlisted along with four of its competitors. In the unimpeachable judgement of a panel of experts, and after undergoing real-life testing, it too was awarded the "Golden Steering Wheel" in its category.

Readers from across Europe valued not only the M-Class's characteristic and distinctive design and its variable interior, with that all-important sense of wellbeing, but also the excellent energy efficiency and thus environmental acceptability of this premium SUV. The permanent all-wheel drive system of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class also proved a determining factor thanks to its well-balanced ride comfort along with excellent driving dynamics, both on and off road, along with the car's outstanding range and high level of safety.

This year's double win in the "Golden Steering Wheel" awards marks the continuation of a fine tradition: with a total of 21 victories to date, the brand with the three-pointed star now leads the field of the most successful car brands to win the competition for the "Golden Steering Wheel", a prize that has been awarded since 1976.
 
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