After eighteen years and now in its third generation, the Mazda BT-50 is set to leave the New Zealand market.

Mazda Motors of New Zealand have today announced the decision, confirming final shipments of the model are now arriving in the country.

Whilst the BT-50 name arrived in 2006 with a facelift to the Mazda Bounty, the first new-generation Mazda BT-50 arrived in 2011 in single cab, freestyle cab and double cab variants.  More recently, the latest generation BT-50, available only in double cab configuration, was launched in 2020. 

Fully developed by Isuzu Motor Limited and supplied to Mazda on an OEM basis, the current BT-50 will remain on sale in selected global markets such as Australia, Thailand, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa.

“The conclusion of the BT-50 is certainly the end of an era for Mazda in New Zealand”, says Mazda Motors of New Zealand managing director, David Hodge.  It is a model that has served the country well, over many years. 

“Undeniably the market has changed significantly over the past few years: the move towards SUVs, a greater uptake of electrified vehicles, and most recently the Clean Car Programme have all influenced consumer tastes.”

As the brand locally redefines its future product range, the focus is on upcoming new models and electrification as part of Mazda’s multi-solution approach which aims to reduce CO2 emissions across the business as well as offering appropriate powertrains in consideration of each market’s local conditions.

“Last year we welcomed new-generation, Large Platform products to the market with CX-60 and CX-90, and this year we look forward to seeing the first-ever Mazda CX-80 join the range.  Extra updates to the CX-30 small SUV and CX-5 medium SUV, along with our ever-popular MX-5, sees the range strengthened even further.

The local history of Mazda utility vehicles goes all the way back to 1966 when the first Mazda B1500 units were imported.  Local assembly started shortly after, continuing through several generations of Mazda B Series utility until 1997.  From then all B Series, Bounty and BT-50 models have been imported.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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