After the launch of the X7, BMW gave fans a tantalizing look at what the SUV’s platform could do with a one-off pickup truck concept. Unfortunately for pickup lovers, BMW’s design director, Adrian van Hooydonk, doesn’t think that a production version is needed in the automaker’s lineup.
A pickup truck is “not an obvious fit for the BMW brand,” van Hooydonk told BMWblog. “We don’t have to go after every trend that is happening.”
As the designer notes, though, there does appear to be a pickup trend forming. Following the launch of the Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Ford Maverick, it’s clear that there is a market for smaller pickups in the U.S., while the popularity of electric trucks like the F-150 Lightning, the Rivian R1T, and more, shows that the segment has a path forward as the industry electrifies.
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Even among its German rivals, there seems to be an interest in capturing pickup buyers. Just last month, Audi revealed the Activesphere concept, an electric vehicle that could convert into a pickup truck at the touch of a button. Making a futuristic concept vehicle and putting a pickup into production, though, are two very different things.
“If we go into a segment, then we want to go in there for the long haul,” said van Hooydonk.
He admitted, though, that, like Audi’s designers, he sees an interest in more rugged vehicles that intrigues him. And although he’s not totally convinced that a pickup truck is right for the BMW brand now, he is paying attention to the trends that are convincing competitors that they might right for their brands.
“What’s interesting is that the pickup truck is becoming more sophisticated. The electric drivetrains are coming in. Of course, the prices are going way up. They have also become more refined,” said van Hooydonk. “So those are interesting developments. But not necessary for us to go and jump in that thing right away because, of course, it has to also be somewhat believable, authentic also to the BMW brand.”
So, although the pickup truck doesn’t feel right for BMW in this moment, it seems that van Hooydonk will never say never.