Mercedes-Benz made a big gamble launching a luxurious pickup truck and according to a high-ranking BMW executive, it has fallen short.
According to BMW senior vice president in charge of the Asian and South African markets, Hendrik von Kunheim, the X-Class is “appalling.”
“When you look now at our German competitor from Stuttgart I think that product (X-Class) is appalling. You would have expected something more serious. I saw that car (X-Class) in Geneva and was actually disappointed. Very disappointed. They can do better, they build fantastic cars, but this one was a disappointment,” von Kunheim bluntly said to Motoring.
Although the executive isn’t impressed with the X-Class, he did say that the luxury pickup truck segment is intriguing and that engineers within the firm have been investigating such a vehicle.
“I am well aware that BMW engineers have looked into the detail of what it takes. I personally believe, having been in Australia for more than three years, that there is room for a luxury ute, which is not there at this point in time.
“I believe our company could play a crucial role to fulfill that particular niche, but it’s a question of time when this will actually happen. For me it is crystal clear. If the market goes to an SUV share of 60 or 70 per cent then there is also space for a ute,” von Kunheim revealed.
While the X-Class is based around the Nissan Navara, any potential BMW would use an in-house platform, most likely the firm’s CLAR monocoque architecture. Additionally, a BMW pickup could be directly based on the X5 or the X7.