Both Mazda and Isuzu have entered into a partnership that will lead to the next-generation of pick-ups from both companies, using strengths and expertise gain from each. By that line of logic, could we either see a BT-50 made by Isuzu or a D-Max with the plush interior of a Mazda?
Not much is known right now about the timeline to which we can expect these new-generation pick-ups, but Mazda is likely the one that stands to benefit the most here since it’s BT-50 long overdue for an update and Isuzu seems to have struck a chord with its proven formula for durable, no-nonsense, affordable approach.
The agreement also reinforces the relationship between both Japanese automakers as the more than decade-long association involved Isuzu producing Mazda trucks for sale in the Japanese domestic market.
This new collaboration will only put a new spin on that arrangement as the next D-Max will likely serve as a base for Mazda to then craft their own individual vehicle, much like Renault is doing with their Alaskan pick-up which uses the Nissan NP300 Navara as a base. Soon Mercedes-Benz will also use the Nissan ute to support its own initial pick-up roadmap.
This announcement comes at a time when Mazda’s pick-up offering is a point where its future remained uncertain for many months now. Isuzu had also previously agreed to collaborate with General Motors two years ago, which would lead to a new breed of Chevrolet Colorado built alongside the next D-Max. The second-generation Mazda BT-50, too, can trace its genealogy to the Ford Ranger.
Mazda also plans to use their next pick-up to increase sales in key countries where pick-ups are widely used such as Australia and certain South East Asian countries while also being open to a worldwide expansion into new markets that have broadened to the notion of a pick-up truck as a viable alternative to a passenger car or SUV, thanks in part to the BT-50’s rivals such as the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton, and Toyota Hilux. They do not, however, have any current interest in selling it in North American markets.