Mazda won’t follow rivals like Nissan and Volkswagen in working with an Australian-based engineering firm to create a flagship local-market ute.
Nissan Australia currently works with Premcar to build the hardcore Navara Pro-4X Warrior and Navara SL Warrior, and Volkswagen Australia sells Walkinshaw-fettled Amaroks, but Mazda currently has no plans to do the same for its BT-50.
Mazda Australia does presently offer the kitted-out BT-50 Thunder, which is exclusive to the Australian market, and is essentially a dressed-up GT variant with a range of locally-developed genuine accessories to make it look more rugged.
This is similar in essence to the Toyota Australia-developed HiLux Rogue with its widened wheel arches and suspension tweaks.
Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak told CarExpert the company isn’t working on a special BT-50 with an external partner at the moment, but is considering all its options.
“We’ve thought about it and looked at it and will continue to do that,” said Mr Doak.
“We’re always looking for opportunities but that doesn’t mean at all that I’m hinting that we’ll do that at all.”
“You have to look where the market is and what the opportunity is, and we’ve been very happy with how Thunder has gone,” added Mr Doak.
“We certain look to continue that and evolve that into the future.”
In addition to the BT-50 Thunder, Mazda Australia currently offers a range of locally-developed genuine accessory packages for the BT-50 dual-cab.
These accessory packages depend on the trim level but largely include a steel bull bar, Lightforce driving lights or light bar, a hard or soft tonneau cover, a sports bar, and different alloy wheels.
There’s also a range of suspension upgrades available for the BT-50 available as genuine accessories.
Like the ARB-branded accessories Ford offers on its Ranger, these Mazda genuine accessories are covered by the same five-year warranty as the BT-50 if fitted at delivery, or two years if fitted at other times.
The third-generation Mazda BT-50 launched in Australia in 2020 and is based on the current Isuzu D-Max.
At the start of the year the BT-50 range expanded to include a new, entry-level 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine, as well as a sporty-looking SP variant.
Current pricing starts at $33,950 before on-road costs for the XS 4×2 1.9 single-cab chassis, and extends to $71,290 before on-road costs for the Thunder 4×4 dual-cab pickup automatic.
MORE: Everything Mazda BT-50