Spied: Mazda BT-50 in California

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It wasn't that long ago that the U.S. pickup truck market offered both the Ford Ranger and the Mazda B-Series compact pickups for entry-level consumers. That all changed as full-size pickups got cheaper and mid-size pickups got larger.

Ford and Mazda have a long history of working together, and one of those collaborative efforts was the last-generation Ranger and B-Series sharing the same platform. Mazda ended production of the B-Series in late 2008, while the Ranger finished its run in 2011. That backstory is what makes this latest report from our spy shooters so interesting.

"With the Ford Ranger on course for U.S. hitting showrooms in just a few years, we were intrigued by two Mazda BT-50 pickups we saw at Mazda's North American headquarters in Irvine, Calif.

"The Mazda BT-50 pickup is mechanically based on Ford's T6 global Ranger; both models have been sold in global markets outside of North America. With Ford now working on the Ranger for American showrooms for the 2019 model year, we're left to wonder if Mazda is evaluating the prospect of piggy-backing on this development to bring the BT-50 to U.S. shores. The synergies make sense; the path has been set by Ford, and now a pair of BT-50 4x4 crew cabs have shown up at Mazda's U.S. headquarters. Consider us intrigued.

"While some of the variants of the BT-50 are built for right-hand-drive markets, both the silver BT-50 Pro 4x4 and the black BT-50 4x4 pictured are left-hand-drive models that would be appropriate for the American market.

"While Mazda has made no public pronouncements about bringing the BT-50 to the U.S., the fact that these pickups are now in the hands of Mazda North America, with a pending U.S. Ranger on the horizon, is certainly curious."

KGP Photography images

 

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Comments

Mitsubishi, Isuzu , Nissan are more concerned about the general global market rather than the US. Posted by: Robert Ryan

@Robert Ryan

Please cite a source for your comment, or simply let us know that you've offered an opinion. The three companies you've noted in your comment have been building plants in the US and making other commitments to the US market for more than 35 years. Their stockholders would probably like to hear from you.

to Robert Ryan

Nissan is pushing for market share in United States harder than any other manufacturer. If you don't believe me then talk to dealership owners.
And to Nissan's credit their plan has worked. From 7% market share to over 10% since 2011. No other manufacturer has increased their volume this much.

to Robert Ryan

Nissan is pushing for market share in United States harder than any other manufacturer. If you don't believe me then talk to dealership owners.
And to Nissan's credit their plan has worked. From 7% market share to over 10% since 2011. No other manufacturer has increased their volume this much.

to Robert Ryan

Nissan is pushing for market share in United States harder than any other manufacturer. If you don't believe me then talk to dealership owners.
And to Nissan's credit their plan has worked. From 7% market share to over 10% since 2011. No other manufacturer has increased their volume this much.

@papajim
Because you only get roughly 1/3 of what they sell globally.US is not their main market.
Seen the new Nissan Navara? ! nothing to do with the ancient Frontier. Isuzu primarily makes Trucks many do not exist in the US and also a Pickup.. Mitsubishi sells the Triton, it's truck division( nothing to with the Triton) has been sold to Mercedes. Only Mitsubishi you get is the Fuso or Canter, their lightest truck.

One of many examples . I would be here for hours posting models you never see in the US.
Anyway Carlos Ghosn sees Nissan/ Renault/ Mitsubishi becoming number one Globally.
GM has slipped too 5th
https://www.tradetrucks.com.au/truck-reviews/1208/mitsubishi-fuso-heavy-duty-truck-review

@papajim
An Isuzu Agitator
http://www.dieselnews.com.au/isuzus-new-twin-steer-models-gaining-attention-from-agitator-market/

UD seems to have disappeared from the US market, but they are selling models that never existed in the US market.
http://jtfosseytrucks.com.au/new-ud-quongw470series-tamworth.html

Wow. That is one ugly truck.

If you don't believe me then talk to dealership owners.

Posted by: AllAmerikan

@AllAmerikan

How many Mitsubishi dealerships are there in the US today? Hint: it is a VERY small number.

@Robert Ryan--True and that is why Renault & Nissan invested in Mitsubishi which has more presence in Asia and Africa. Ghosn will not abandoned the US market for Mitsubishi but they will have to build a more viable dealership and distribution network which has been dying. Mitsubishi had some really innovative vehicles in the late 80's thru the 90's but since then it has been on life support in the US. A US version of the Triton would help Mitsubishi along with a wider selection of crossovers and suv which Mitsubishi already has globally. Mitsubishi now just has the Mirage, and electric car, and 2 versions of the Outlander which is not enough to sustain dealerships. Even if Mitsubishi is not among the top 5 of pickup and suvs sales it would at least give the dealerships in the US a fighting chance I believe Mitsubishi should not try to compete in the full size pickup market especially since Toyota and Nissan are having a battle with the American brands in the US.

@Robert Ryan--True and that is why Renault & Nissan invested in Mitsubishi which has more presence in Asia and Africa. Ghosn will not abandoned the US market for Mitsubishi but they will have to build a more viable dealership and distribution network which has been dying. Mitsubishi had some really innovative vehicles in the late 80's thru the 90's but since then it has been on life support in the US. A US version of the Triton would help Mitsubishi along with a wider selection of crossovers and suv which Mitsubishi already has globally. Mitsubishi now just has the Mirage, and electric car, and 2 versions of the Outlander which is not enough to sustain dealerships. Even if Mitsubishi is not among the top 5 of pickup and suvs sales it would at least give the dealerships in the US a fighting chance I believe Mitsubishi should not try to compete in the full size pickup market especially since Toyota and Nissan are having a battle with the American brands in the US.

...Mitsubishi should not try to compete in the full size pickup market especially since Toyota and Nissan are having a battle with the American brands in the US.

@Jeff S

Mitsubishi should not try to compete in any market especially since they have no manufacturing in the US. Toyota and Nissan are having a battle with the American brands and they actually have considerable resources here in the US.

Mitsubishi has no small truck that would be competitive, and they would be dealing with the Chicken Tax on top of that.

No chance. Ditto for Mazda.

@papa jim--Mitsubishi does have a midsize truck called the Triton that could compete with the current midsize trucks. It could easily be made in a Nissan plant or even in Mexico. There are many global trucks that could compete in the midsize pickup market. Having said that if all the global pickups did enter the US market it would probably lower the price but then there would be a glut of midsize trucks For Ghosn to keep Mitsubishi even viable in the US he will need a version of the global pickup and expand the variety of suvs and crossovers otherwise why bother. Ghosn has stated repeatedly that he was going to keep Mitsubishi in the US and maintain separate dealerships from Nissan. This is not my wishful thinking but it is coming from Ghosn. An electric car, a subpar sub compact car, and 2 versions of an existing crossover/suv are not enough. Even Ghosn himself said that he was going to expand Mitsubishi's line of products in the US. The Triton is actually a very good truck but Mitsubishi would need to produce it in a lower cost place not being subject to the chicken tax which would be Mexico. Mazda itself is not doing so well with the Mazda 6 and Mazda 3 which are both in a crowded field of midsize, compact, and subcompact sedans which have seen total market share decrease while suv, crossover, and pickup sales increase. Another sedan is not going to do anything of Mitsubishi and Mazda is barely selling cars. Both Mazda and Mitsubishi need a midsize pickup just to stay in the market. This is not just my opinion but TTAC and other websites that have covered the total vehicle market not just trucks. Even FCA axed their Dart and 200 which were not terrible but they were not competitive and were losing money.

@papa jim--If you feel empowered you can write a letter to Ghosn and to the head of Mazda USA and tell them that expanding their product line to include more crossovers, suvs, and pickups is a total waste. I am not going to disagree but both companies are both intent on staying in the US market and if they are to have any chance they need to go with the types of vehicles people are buying and both need to be competitively priced and reliable. I am not alone in this conclusion the marketplace is speaking with the rapid decline in sales of sedans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mazda_facilities

Jeff take a look. Mazda has a plant in Mexico but none in the US. It's pointless for them to try and bring a pickup to the US in the current environment.

Honda is presently selling a few thousand Ridgelines per year but that is not enough to stimulate Mazda's stockholders. Nissan has US capacity but that shop floor space is devoted to more profitable activity, you can be sure of that.

Mitsubishi as we've discussed is toast in the US. Every US truckmaker is throwing money on the hood to sell half ton trucks. This is not an attractive environment for foreign producers especially when the dollar is so strong against the yen and the euro

@papa jim--It is pointless to argue with you, your argument is with Mitsubishi and Mazda not me. I am not in charge of either company and if I were I would pull out of the US market and focus on China and the rest of Asia where the real growth is. The US is a mature market and does not have the potential that Asia has. I am just stating what I have read and I provided you the links on Mitsubishi to back up what I said. This is not a debate on Global Warming or a political debate it is what is actually happening. My point is that if Mitsubishi insist on staying in the US and if Mazda is going to continue in the US automobiles are not going to sustain them. If you don't believe me just google car sales and you will see for yourself that the traditional car be it a sedan or a coupe are losing sales while suv, crossover, and trucks are gaining. Mazda at some point might use that Mexican plant to produce trucks for the US--they are already producing Mazda 3s for the us there. You need to read and comprehend that it is not me that is endorsing these decisions it is Mazda and Mitsubishi. Also I did not state that they were in fact going to sell midsize trucks in the US merely that both have a better chance of surviving if they produce more trucks, suvs, and crossovers. Doesn't really matter how you feel about Mitsubishi their sales have increased but only because of the Mirage which is a low profit product. Profit margins on even a midsize truck is much greater than a midsize sedan. Year to date Mitsubishi sales went up 6.9%, Mazda sales up only 0.1% and Ford and GM went down as stated in the following link:

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/06/usa-auto-brand-sales-results-may-2017-ytd/

Regardless of what you or I think Mitsubishi is not toast until they are. Facts are facts and Nissan is investing money in Mitsubishi now so they are not toast yet. Whenever you have asked for someone to state the facts and they give the facts to you, you then deny those facts. I have given you the facts as of now and you can think whatever you want. Just the facts. You expressed an opinion and did not provide a factual basis, I gave you the facts for now. If you want my opinion I will say the Mitsubishi's prospects in the US market are not that good but globally they are better. Give me some proof as to why you think Nissan is not investing in Mitsubishi. I gave you proof prior to this that they are.

@Jeff S

I think someone is using your ID again. I bet the IP address points back to someplace in the Southern Hemisphere, in the western Pacific. If you get my drift.

Mitsubishi is just a brand name at this point, known for its small cars, trying to achieve some cachet in a market flooded with better options, both for consumers and its hoped for investors.

Toast!

@papa jim--On a global market Mitsubishi is far from being toast. You are entitled to your opinion but it is an opinion. Read the links that I furnished and you will see that Nissan is pouring lots of resources into Mitsubishi. Again that is fact and Mitsubishi is not finished until Nissan withdraws financial support. You have a problem with reading anything that does not agree with you viewpoint. As for me I will probably never buy another Mitsubishi product unless I got a heck of a deal and the dealership and service becomes better and more available. We will see what Nissan does with Mitsubishi. My opinion is that they will rebadge some Nissans and Renaults as Mitsubishis but regardless another midsize, compact, or subcompact car are not going to save them in the US. You talk about the truck makers putting discounts on trucks, you need to look at the incentives all the manufacturers are putting on midsize cars which are languishing on the lots. I would rather be a car dealership with more Silverados and Colorados than be stuck with Mailbus and Cruzes which are moving so slow that GM is closing the plants that make them for 5 weeks instead of the usual 2 over the Summer. Mitsubishi could easily share Nissan's truck and suv plants to get what they need. The worst thing that could happen is that Mitsubishi does not make it and Nissan withdraws support. For now Nissan is at the table and they are willing to take a chance on Mitsubishi. Ghosn wants Nissan/Renault to be a global leader competing with Toyota and VW. Notice I said this is Nissan not me that is making this decision. PSA bought Opel from GM because they too want a larger global presence. GM is more than glad to sell the French company Opel to cut their losses. Buick eventually will not have a source of German Buicks. GM still has Daewoe and the Chinese. Buick itself still exists because the Chinese consider it a luxury brand and cannot get enough Buicks. Maybe Buick will eventually exit the US and become a Chinese only product. Maybe GM itself will eventually become a Chinese company with Ford being the sole US based auto manufacturers. My guess is eventually Mitsubishi will eventually get absorbed into Nissan and Renault and fade away as a brand name. Not the first time an acquired brand has faded away (Nash, Rambler, Packard). The global auto market will be in for some large changes especially with non-US based companies expanding their global presence while GM is withdrawing from many global markets. I seriously doubt that GM would be doing as well if it weren't for China and the Government bailout. GM has done a lot of cutting to get rid of unprofitable operations and they are in the black for now but long term there is no guarantee that GM will still be viable. The next Government bailout could send GM to the Chinese.

@papa jim--Here is a link today for the ever shrinking sedan market.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/06/qotd-fiat-chrysler-automobiles-need-cars/#more-1575637

@Jeff S

Mitsubishi is a brand name. They have nothing ZERO in the way of new ideas or products.

The auto market in the US especially and in most of the developed world FOR SURE is static and burdened by surplus capacity and unnecessary brand names. As in Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi and Mazda remind me of Rambler and Studebaker.

Get over it.

@papajim--I didn't know Mitsubishi was a name brand? You are just a wealth of knowledge especially when it comes to what is happening in the car industry. You believe that Nissan is not investing in Mitsubishi when they are. I thought Mitsubishi was dead but apparently not dead enough that Nissan is investing. Maybe papa jim should be chairman of Nissan since he knows more about the automobile industry than Ghosn.

@papa jim--I really think that you should contact Ghosn and tell him that you think he should just kill Mitsubishi. I am sure that Nissan would be more than willing to listen to your vast expertise on the subject and that you have all the answers because you know everything about everything. Maybe you could replace Sergio at FCA, I am sure you couldn't do any worse since they are going down the drain. Who knows there might be a golden parachute for you and you could afford to buy a newer better truck. You could get appointed to Trumps advisory board as well since he definitely needs more advisers. You are denying your country and the World your vast knowledge and expertise that you so well exhibit on this website.

@Jeff S

time to see the doctor again. It will be ok.

papa jim--Time for you to go to the retirement home. They play a lot of reruns of Lawrence Welk.

I've already personally seen the international Ranger in Texas. They come in through Mexico, since they are sold there. Yes, it is odd to see the BT-50, but no more odd than seeing the international Ranger, since the Ranger is sold on this continent.

I've already personally seen the international Ranger in Texas. They come in through Mexico, since they are sold there. Yes, it is odd to see the BT-50, but no more odd than seeing the international Ranger, since the Ranger is sold on this continent.

Still be great to have a another option in the small truck arsenal. I love my colorado I can park it in my garage and maneuver in parking lots and still tow my boat and mowers.

Ford Trucks,the F150, are mechanically sound. I have a buddy who has onwd two and had no problems. He puts a lot of miles on them too.

I have a Ram with over 100,000 miles and no real major problems.

There should be a market for a tiny truck but I am no fan of the midsize. You might as well go full size with little difference in the money.



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