BMW is reiterating its promise not to follow rival Mercedes-Benz into the pickup market. The company believes that the international premium truck market is too tiny to be worth entering the segment.
"Every business case we did so far … it was by far not relevant," Klaus Fröhlich, BMW Board of Management Member in charge of vehicle development, told Motoring at the Paris Motor Show. “For us, the market segment is too small, because we are at the higher price level for pick-ups."
According to Fröhlich, only certain markets like Australia and presumably North America have enough of a market to make a premium pickup a profitable offering.
BMW's long push and pull about building a pickup:
Fröhlich refused to use one of the company's existing platforms for a pickup and called a truck using a monocoque chassis "very much compromise," according to Motoring. This means the firm would need to engineer a body-on-frame chassis for a pickup, and the investment is simply too high to be worthwhile.
Mercedes-Benz got around this problem with the X-Class by taking advantage of its close relationship with the Renault-Nissan. The Mercedes truck shares the body-on-frame chassis from the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan.
Earlier in the year, news arrived that Australian BMW dealers were pushing the company to create a competitor for the Mercedes X-Class. "We have been very pushy regarding utes or pick-ups, and we believe that this is something the company should be looking into," Marc Werner, CEO BMW Group Australia, told Australian website Car Advice at the time.
The closest thing to a factory BMW pickup actually come from the M Division. In need of shop truck, the team there has chopped up a few generations of 3 Series and turned them into little pickups.