BMW’s development chief and board member Klaus Frohlich has ruled out any chances of the German car manufacturer building a pickup to rival the Mercedes-Benz X-Class.
Ever since the X-Class premiered, BMW has been flooded with questions about producing a rival. Many of the calls for this model have come from Australia, where the company’s local arm has been pushing for a pickup for a number of years.
“I’m the bad guy. I see no evidence that we can ever do a good proposition. Every business case we did so far… it was by far not relevant. For us, the market segment is too small, because we are at the higher price level for pick-ups,” Frohlich said.
“The premium side of that market is extremely small … there’s only a few regions of the world – Australia is one of them. If you look at the pickup market… if you look at the segment of the pick-up trucks, it’s very much utilities, so median price points are very, very low,” he said.
There had been talk of BMW potentially partnering with Toyota to create an upscale pickup using the underpinnings of the Hilux. Such a partnership would have followed on from the two automakers’ co-development of the new Supra and Z4 and be similar to the relationship between Mercedes-Benz and Nissan that spawned the X-Class.
Frohlich denied such a tie-up was ever considered by BMW, bluntly stating that “We will never do badge engineering.”