The Japanese automakers have been partners in the one-ton pickup segment for years with other automakers, so the recent official announcement comes as a bit of a surprise.
So far, Mazda has only announced officially it will enter an official “Pick-up Truck Collaboration Agreement” with Isuzu – with the latter tasked to “produce next-generation pick-up trucks for Mazda, based on Isuzu’s pick-up truck model.” So far on the global market Mazda and Isuzu have worked with Ford and General Motors, respectively, for their pick-up partnerships. Mazda and Isuzu do have though a collaborative relationship for more than a decade, with the latter actually producing trucks for the Japanese market with the Mazda badge. But so far as speculation goes, we’re thinking the new collaboration will have to do with the next generation Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max. The agreement stipulates this is a global project – though North America gets left out.
There’s practically no information to go about when discussing the new pickups, but since the D-Max and BT-50 don’t get to be purchased in North America we’re betting the automakers are talking about these two. According to the statement, Isuzu will be able to “enhance its product competiveness”, with Mazda in turn capable to “strengthen its product line-up and maintain own-brand market coverage.”