After BMW’s infamous April Fool’s prank in 2011, almost everyone has been urging the German automaker to bring to life the E92 M3 pickup truck. It has been one of the most favorite mini-trucks aside from the Chevy El Camino. There are some who have “almost” perfected the art of converting their 3 Series. One example is the M3 pickup from South African tuner Mad Dog Racing that pretty much garnered a thumbs up from fans. However, there’s an enormous upside when it is made by BMW itself.
Last year, BMW Asia, Pacific and South African chief Hendrik von Kuenheim said that BMW did not and will not have any plans of building a pickup truck or ute. And so all of our dreams, hopes and aspiration of finally witnessing the magnificent pickup materialize in front of our eyes were thrown out the window.
But recently though, it seems that BMW will change their mind and will finally develop a pickup truck to compete with Mercedes Benz.
BMW Australia Managing Director Marc Werner told Australia’s Motoring that BMW is closely observing the pickup segment for possible release of a BMW ute. It looks like Kuenheim’s stern announcement on how BMW will in no way release a pickup segment is slowly thawing as the German automaker eyes a possible market in Australia.
Ute fans’ ears perked up when Werner made an intriguing comment at the BMW M3/M4 Competition in Queensland saying “never say never” which for some implies that BMW has not given up the idea of making a ute segment just yet. However, we’re not holding on that much to this unofficial statement as a lot may happen over the next few months.
One reason why BMW has not yet ventured into making pickup trucks is that it lacks a commercial division that will somewhat help it with their ute lineup. If they do decide to make a pickup truck and tap the US market, BMW would most probably go for a high-performance lifestyle oriented ute in the likes of the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Tapping the US market would most likely boost their sales, which have benefited from introducing it in Australia, South East Asian and South Africa where utes are in demand.
Also, BMW might want to brainstorm with its Japanese partner Toyota. There may even be a Hilux-based model too. Toyota has been making Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks, making it a good idea to pair up for the BMW pickup truck line.
The Japanese automaker and BMW are currently working side by side for the next generation Z5 and the resurrection of the Supra. Another project on their plate wouldn’t be that much, wouldn’t it? Since Mercedes will most likely partner up with Nissan and Audi to develop the Volkswagen Amarok, chances of pairing up with Toyota are high. As of now, we’ll have to sit back and relax ‘til these three companies face off in a match between Germany and America’s biggest automakers.