“They construct improbable vehicles,” BMW senior vp Hendrik von Kuenheim informed Australian automotive media on the Frankfurt Motor Present. “However this one was a disappointment.”
von Kuenheim is speaking concerning the Nissan Navara-based Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup, a truck not presently destined for North America however one that can seem throughout the area for which von Kuenheim is in cost: Asia, Australia, South Africa.
“I noticed that automotive in Geneva and was truly disenchanted,” BMW’s von Kuenheim says. “Very disenchanted.” Calling the X-Class “appalling,” and suggesting we “would have anticipated one thing extra severe,” von Kuenheim’s feedback concerning the body-on-frame Mercedes-Benz pickup accompanied numerous revelations concerning a future BMW truck.
Don’t anticipate a BMW pickup to rival the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.
Removed from describing the auto press as faux information, BMW’s senior VP was absolutely on board with journalist opinions relating to the X-Class. “I listened to a few of your (media) colleagues from different international locations,” von Kuenheim says of early X-Class critiques. “They mentioned it was very low-cost, very plasticky, not very a lot Mercedes-like what you’ll anticipate.”A BMW pickup truck, which von Kuenheim says has progressed into an investigatory stage, could be very totally different if it ever got here to fruition. Slightly than the utilitarian method of the Stuttgart competitor, Motoring experiences, “It has to drive like a typical BMW and in addition has to fulfil the true BMW genes,”
BMW Australia’s managing director Marc Werner says. If the SUV/crossover sector’s share of the market retains rising previous 60 %, Werner says, “there may be additionally area for a ute,” at BMW. Ute, you’ll recall, is Aussie-speak for a pickup truck.
The problem for BMW, von Kuenheim says, isn’t the perceived lack of demand, however fairly the corporate’s priorities. Progressing to the subsequent stage of inner combustion engines, furthering hybrid expertise, establishing electrical vehicles (which, “for the time being, in case you take a look at Tesla, just isn’t actually a terrific revenue alternative,” von Kuenheim says), getting into an autonomous driving period, and determining gasoline cells are all areas by which BMW must spend cash. “So it is advisable prioritise your self. What will we need to do. And from all of the priorities the pickup is possibly not primary or two precedence.”
However Hendrik von Kuenheim and Marc Werner, due to the markets they symbolize, have a very pressing place on a BMW pickup truck. von Kuenheim has a BMW pickup rendering on his cellphone case; Werner says, “I personally consider, having been in Australia for greater than three years, that there’s room for a luxurious ute, which isn’t there at this cut-off date.”
It’s going to, if a BMW pickup truck ever does transpire, definitely be much less stunning to the fanatic system to see, for instance, a Hofmeister kink on the aspect of a pickup truck, than it was to see the primary BMW utility car. It’s been 20 years because the BMW X5 exited a South Carolina manufacturing facility. “Now we’ve got an X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7,” von Kuenheim says, “and who is aware of what else is coming.”
“Now we have a accountability,” says BMW Australia’s Marc Werner, “to meet buyer wants.”
[Image: Daimler AG]
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Reality About Vehicles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.web. Comply with on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.