The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is an unconventional model for the German brand, without question. It comes to disrupt the way we perceive the Stuttgart-based manufacturer and wants a piece of the action in the truck segment, one that hasn’t been properly tackled by traditional German premium car makers. Ever since it came out, the BMW team has been eyeing such a model too, but there’s been no mention of a potential rival coming from Munich.
However, the auto industry is moving at a faster pace than ever and officials have never been adamantly against making a BMW pickup model. As a matter of fact, when the X-Class was revealed, one official was actually quite acid speaking about it, criticizing the end product for not being refined enough. Back in September, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Hendrik von Kuenheim, senior vice president of the company’s Asia, Pacific and South Africa region said he checked out the car and ended up being disappointed by what he saw.
“When you look now at our German competitor from Stuttgart, I think that [X-Class] product is appalling. You would have expected something more serious, this is for me… very cheap, very plastic, not very much Mercedes-like. I saw that car in Geneva [motor show] and I was very disappointed. They can do better. They build fantastic cars but this one was a disappointment.” Then, asked about a potential Bavarian rival added: “Now we have an X1, X2, X3, 5, 6, X7 and who knows what else is coming? So the market and customer demand is changing.”
As it turns out, according to Car Advice, BMW dealers in Australia are pushing the brand more and more these days to come out with an ute or pickup model. According to them, the segment is growing and doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. “We have been very pushy regarding utes or pick-ups, and we believe that this is something the company should be looking into. We have raised that with headquarters and certainly investigations are happening as we speak, but it’s too early to speak about the results of that analysis, but if there was a ute we would certainly take it,” said Mark Werner, BMW Australia head honcho.
Therefore, the signs are looking good if you’re interested in such a model. Furthermore, the development costs could eventually be split with another manufacturer, like Toyota, as it happened in the case of another niche model, the Z4. Toyota is, after all, making two quite popular truck already in the shape of the Tacoma and Tundra.