BMW has taken a little swipe at Mercedes, calling the new X-Class pickup “appalling” but admitting it’s looking at building a similar flatbed truck of its own.
The Munich-based company’s senior vice president with responsibility for the Asian, Australian and South African markets didn’t hold back when it came to discussing the new Mercedes with the major Australian car website Motoring.
Speaking about the X-Class, Hendrik von Kunheim said:
“When you look now at our German competitor from Stuttgart I think that product is appalling. You would have expected something more serious. They can do better, they build fantastic cars, but this one was a disappointment.”
It’s thought that he was referring to the fact that the X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara, using the same ladder chassis. It has the same proportions, and the quality of the interior has apparently come in for some criticism from the media. Von Kunheim continued:
“I listened to some of your [media] colleagues from other countries. They said it was very cheap, very plasticky, not very much Mercedes-like [like] what you would expect.”
It’s being reported that approval for any BMW pickup would depend on sales of SUVs. If SUVs gain a market share over 60 per cent – a massive leap from today’s figure of 25 per cent or so in Europe – then BMW says there would be space for a pickup as well. BMW Australia is said to have thrown its weight behind the idea.
A BMW pickup/truck/ute would also be a totally in-house effort, using the platform for the X5 or X7, but it has dropped well down BMW’s priorities list, says von Kunheim, in the wake of the latest push towards electrification and hydrogen fuel cells.