Japan’s Nikkei newspaper last week reported Mazda had decided to stop development and production of its commercial vehicles in the second half of this decade, citing sliding domestic sales as the motivating factor.
But Mazda Australia’s Steve Maciver said there were no plans to discontinue the BT-50, insisting the light commercial ute would be available in Australia well into the future.
“Certainly we have no plans to stop producing BT-50 and as far as Mazda Australia is concerned it will continue to be sold,” Maciver said.
The reports are believed to apply to other older Mazda commercial vehicles that are not sold in Australia. The E-Series light trucks and vans and the boxy Bongo truck could be among those on the chopping block as Mazda reportedly seeks to tidy its range and focus on passenger vehicles and ‘Skyactiv’ technology.
The BT-50 is a crucial vehicle to Mazda Australia. So far this year, the all-new model has accounted for 9.5 per cent of the brand’s local sales, with 1631 sold across January and February.
The BT-50 has a 6.3 per cent share of the 4x2 pick-up segment, and the more popular 4x4 model makes up 8.7 per cent of its segment.