The Mazda BT-50 range will not see the addition of an entry-level petrol model, despite many rivals offering a base model version with that fuel type at a more attractive price point.
The refreshed 2016 Mazda BT-50 line-up still starts at $25,570 plus on-road for the base-model 2.2-litre turbo diesel single-cab-chassis XT variant, which puts the price of entry into a BT-50 higher than many rivals.
CarAdvice understands there is a configuration of BT-50 that could be sold here with a petrol engine, and it is already in markets such as Saudi Arabia, Northern America and Thailand.
But there won’t be a base-model petrol variant sold here, according to Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders.
“Most of these vehicles either live in the country or do big kilometres or tow, so diesel is ideal,” Benders said.
However, Benders made a point of the fact the brand has a strong position in sales of 4×2 models, and he said that’s what the dealers have historically had more success with.
“That’s what our dealers know,” he said of 4×2 models. “And that’s what they did with the old model.
“There’s an opportunity in the 4×4 segment,” he said, pointing out that
Historically the BT-50 has fared better in two-wheel-drive specification than in four-wheel-drive, at least in terms of sales share.
So far in 2015, 4×2 BT-50 models have accounted for 3474 sales (or 12.9 per cent market share), where the 4×4 variants take just 6.8 per cent of market share (though with a higher number of sales: 6014 YTD).
The BT-50’s sibling model, the Ford Ranger, also lacks an entry-level petrol variant, though there was a 2.5-litre petrol model available at the launch of the current-generation version in 2011.