BMW says it is watching bakkie segment 'closely'

FiestaST

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Last year, BMW stated unequivocally that it had no plans to enter the bakkie segment, but now it seems the German automaker has softened its stance somewhat.

Marc Werner, BMW Australia’s managing director, told motoring.com.au this week that a BMW-badged pick-up had not been ruled out.

“Never say never,” Werner told the website.

“We’re watching the space closely,” he added, when asked about the Munich-based brand’s thoughts on German rival Mercedes-Benz’s plans to build a Navara-based bakkie.

Werner, however, pointed out that BMW’s direct competitors had a clear advantage in this area.

“It’s easier for Mercedes because they have commercial vehicles and trucks and vans. We do not,” he explained.

“And perhaps it’s easier for Audi. Just take the [Volkswagen] Amarok; why not? Yes, it’s harder for us, but we’ll be watching how Benz goes.”

BMW has, of course, performed a significant U-turn before, as it now builds various front-wheel drive models despite once promising to remain exclusively rear-wheel drive.

http://www.carmag.co.za/news_post/bmw-says-it-is-watching-bakkie-segment-closely/

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deweyzeph

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I prefer my bakkies not to look like a chop shop got a hold of a coupe and massacred it.
 

PhireSide

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The way bakkie prices are going I don't blame them.

Must be a lucrative market in Aus and it is here too.

Those concept pics are hideous though
 

FiestaST

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Yeah we know that...people should know it was an April Fool Joke...
 

DrJohnZoidberg

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Ye I dunno, it's just one of those things you're so not used to seeing that it looks too weird, like somebody with no eyebrows.
 

FiestaST

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BMW pick-up model considered

BMW could join its long-time rival Mercedes-Benz in the growing luxury pick-up truck market.

Asked whether rumours suggesting BMW had plans to enter the pick-up ranks were on the mark, BMW Australia managing director Marc Werner said: “We are looking at this closely," before adding: "a ute is certainly an interesting proposition.”

Werner’s comments are the first acknowledgment that BMW is looking at the possibilities of launching a pick-up truck.

It was recently revealed that BMW has a new global sales strategy to build more individual market-specific models, which has already produced a new front-wheel-drive 1 Series saloon for selected markets, including China.

Werner, the former BMW area manager for such diverse markets as Japan, Russia, India and South Korea, refused to confirm whether detailed discussions on the possible introduction of a pick-up had already taken place at boardroom level. However, he said: “Here at BMW, we are constantly looking at market trends. We are always on the lookout for market opportunities and for further product derivatives that would be suitable for our customers.”

Werner’s comments have added fuel to recent rumours that BMW could broaden its model base to include selected commercial vehicles in the future, as part of joint venture operations with Toyota, whose Hi-Lux pick-up sells well in many markets.

Mercedes-Benz shocked its luxury car rivals in 2015 by announcing plans to develop a Mercedes-Benz GLT pick-up based on the Nissan Navara.

BMW's lack of expertise in the commercial vehicle market is the main obstacle in the way of a BMW pick-up, although the mooted link-up with Toyota could open up new areas of potential growth.

BMW’s success in the luxury SUV market, with models ranging from the X1 to the X6, could also provide it with opportunities to develop a pick-up truck boasting greater refinement and performance than that being targeted by Mercedes-Benz, albeit for a higher price.

In 2011, BMW’s M performance division released a series of photographs depicting an M3-based pick-up truck as an April Fool’s day prank.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/bmw-pick-model-considered
 

FiestaST

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Is BMW really considering a bakkie?

When Mercedes-Benz announced last year that it was set to enter the one-tonne bakkie market, we jokingly suggested that BMW had better not get any ideas.

Mercedes could easily pull it off, given that it's already a big player in the commercial vehicle market and its G-Class SUV is a hallowed name in the bundu-bashing scene. BMW, while active in the SUV, sorry SAV, has a brand that's practically built on sporty vibes and driving dynamics and a Hilux rival would surely damage the brand?

Yet BMW doesn't necessarily share those sentiments. BMW's Australian boss Marc Werner, when asked his opinion on Merc's plans to launch a bakkie, recently told Motoring.com.au that the company is "watching the space very closely."

This comes just a year after another regional head told the same publication that a BMW pick-up would not happen, so it appears that BMW is now at least open to the idea.

It wouldn't necessarily be as easy for the Bavarian carmaker as it would be for Mercedes as the latter already has commercial vehicle experience and has access, through its alliances, to the Nissan Navara platform that will underpin Merc's new one-tonner when it hits the scene in 2017.

BMW would need to forge its own alliance and dare we suggest that its ties with Toyota, with which it's currently co-developing a sports car, could expand to give it access to the Hilux's architecture? Peugeot has also be linked to a possible Hilux-based bakkie as the French carmaker (which has commercial vehicle ties with Toyota) recently confirmed that it's also jumping on the bakkie bandwagon.

The one-tonne market is certainly getting tougher(er) by the minute (sorry Toyota), with Fiat having recently launched its Mitsubishi-based Fullback and Renault having unveiled its Navara-based Alaskan.

But perhaps BMW is looking at a completely different approach that doesn't even involve tough but old-fashioned body-on-frame construction? What if it simply used one of its current SAV platforms (such as X3 or X5) to create a unibody pick-up that would have a unique position in the market? The end result might not be as good in the bush, but it would certainly be better to drive on tar, and thus BMW might not have to sacrifice too many of its ideals after all.

http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/is-bmw-really-considering-a-bakkie-2049769
 

TheChamp

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They must do just that, watch the segment closely and nothing more.
 

Tman*

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Werner, however, pointed out that BMW’s direct competitors had a clear advantage in this area.

“It’s easier for Mercedes because they have commercial vehicles and trucks and vans. We do not,” he explained.

Haha, this made me laugh. Look at the BMW brand and what they offered 10 years ago vs now. I remember When I was still in high school, it was pretty much 1,3,5,7 series, X3,5, and Z4

Now we looking at 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 series, X1,3,4,5,6, Z- series, as well as the "i" series.

The next logical step would be to offer a premium branded bakkie. And believe me, it will sell like hotcakes in the SA market!
 
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