Mazda looks set to bring the Mazda BT-50 pickup truck back to the UK, following an announcement that the next-generation model will be based on the Isuzu-Max. The new model is expected to be launched in 2019, seven years after the previous generation was taken off-sale in the UK.
The Mazda BT-50 was launched back in 2006, replacing the B-Series which had been in the UK since 1999. Both of these vehicles were developed by Mazda, but also badged as a Ford Ranger around the world.
However for the second-generation BT-50, the development work was handed over to Ford of Australia and one of the agreements was that Mazda would withdraw from the European pickup market.
Sales of the second-generation Mazda BT-50 (2011 to present) were thereafter confined to Asia, Africa and Australasia, but the new alliance with Isuzu means that Mazda is free to reintroduce the BT-50 into European countries.
“Mazda Motor Corporation and Isuzu Motors Limited have reached a basic agreement on next-generation pickup truck collaboration, allowing Isuzu to enhance its product competitiveness and Mazda to strengthen its product line-up and maintain own-brand market coverage”, the company said in a statement.
“Isuzu will produce next-generation pickup trucks for Mazda, based on Isuzu’s pick-up truck model. Mazda and Isuzu have developed a collaborative relationship for more than ten years, with Isuzu producing Mazda trucks for the Japanese market. This agreement reinforces the continuous long-term relationship between Mazda and Isuzu.”
Sales of pickup trucks are growing across Europe, and have doubled in the UK in just six years. In 2009, there were less than 19,000 pickup truck sales, but this increased to over 40,000 units by 2015.
It’s expected that next generation Isuzu D-Max will be arriving in 2019, with Mazda-badged models expected shortly afterwards. The announcement that Mazda is to reenter the European pickup market follows on from similar statements from Mercedes-Benz (see Mercedes-Benz GLT), Fiat Professional (see Fiat Fullback review), PSA (see PSA pickup) and Renault (see Renault Alaskan).
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