BMW Might Build a 'Ute' Pickup Just to Screw Mercedes-Benz

bmw might build a 8216 ute pickup just to screw mercedes benz

If you’ve ever though the backseat and trunk in your 3 Series would be a perfect place to put a long, flat cargo space for hauling dirtbikes, start planning a move to Australia.

According to Motoring, the German automaker is considering fielding a pickup variant Down Under — a move once thought impossible, but now looks much more likely, thanks to Bimmer’s rival.

BMW, purveyor of dignified, high-end rolling stock, said “definitely not” when asked last year if it would build a “ute” for utility-hungry Australians. That tune has since changed.

When asked again by Motoring, BMW Australia managing director Marc Werner replied, “Never say never.”

Why the change of heart? Blame Mercedes-Benz, and its tentative plans to offer its own ute in the Australian market in 2018. Traditionally, whatever Benz does, Bimmer feels compelled to do the same, while trying to top its competitor at its own game. German siblings are the würst.

“We’re watching the space closely,” Werner said, referring to his rival’s possible foray into the niche market.

It won’t be easy bringing a BMW ute to Australia. The automaker lacks the commercial trucks and vans that Benz already sells in the country, Werner said, adding that rival Audi could easily rebadge a Volkswagen Amarok pickup if it wanted its own ute. There’s a ghost of a chance that BMW could expand its relationship with Toyota beyond the Supra sportcar the two companies are jointly developing.

As an April Fool’s joke in 2011, BMW teased images of an M3-based pickup to satisfy the El Camino crowd.

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  • Luke42 I like the Metris quite a bit, but I never bought one.Two problems kept me from pulling the trigger:[list=1][*]It was expensive for what it was.[/*][*]For the price they were asking, it needed to have a plug for me to buy it.[/*][/list=1]I wanted a minivan that could tow, and I test drove one and liked it. The Mercedes dealer stocked both cargo versions and conversion vans. It was a nice vehicle, and I really wanted one for a while.This is the inevitable fate of cars that I like, but don't actually buy.
  • Garrett I would have gone for one of these if it had AWD. If they had offered it, it could have done far better.
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  • ScarecrowRepair I'd love an electric car -- quiet, torque, drive train simplicity -- but only if the cost was less, if recharging was as fast as gas (5 minutes) and as ubiquitous. I can take a road trip and know that with a few posted exceptions (US 50 from Reno to Utah), I don't have to wonder where the next fuel station is, and if I do run out, I can lug a gallon of gas back.Sure I'd miss the engine sounds and the joys of shifting. But life is all about tradeoffs.