Work­horse or ‘life­style use’

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

THE Ranger’s Mazda twin,the BT-50, is a vi­tal piece of the Ja­panese brand’s plan to sell more than 100,000 ve­hi­cles a year in Aus­tralia by 2014.

The first BT-50s to roll down the Thai pro­duc­tion line next year will be shipped to Aus­tralia with a sales tar­get of 18,000 utes a year.

Mazda en­gi­neers de­serve an equal share of the credit for the T6 pro­gram.

‘‘I just want to say the project was jointly de­vel­oped with Ford,’’ says Ke­ichi Wakabayashi, Mazda gen­eral man­ager of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

‘‘The rolling chas­sis was en­gi­neered by Mazda. The in­te­rior, top hat and tun­ing of the BT-50 was done by Mazda. Plat­form devel­op­ment over­all was joint.’’

World­wide boss of Mazda, Takashi Ya­manouchi, says the BT-50 is for ‘‘ac­tive life­style use’’ — not just a com­mer­cial work­horse.

‘‘Aus­tralia will be the largest mar­ket.’’

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