As auto demand in Japan had dwindled, Mazda Motor Corp. has made the decision to halt the development and production of commercial vehicles in the second half of the decade, according to a Nikkei report. This means that the company won’t anymore develop or build any of the commercial vehicles it offers to the market.
The Nikkei said that Mazda currently procures trucks from Isuzu Motors Ltd. Nissan Motor Co. provides the commercial vans while Suzuki Motor Corp. supplies its commercial minivehicles. It isn’t clear yet if Mazda will stop commercial vehicle sales outside of its domestic market too.
Mazda presently sells its E-series light trucks and panel vans outside of Japan. It also makes the BT-50 pickup truck for personal and commercial use in the following countries: Thailand, Columbia, South Africa, Ecuador and Zimbabwe. The Nikkei also reported that its box-style and small-truck Bongo, which made its debut in 1966 and was a best-seller for a long time, has had slow demand lately.
This is due to the stagnation in the commercial vehicle market in Japan as well as the rise in competition. Mazda’s first ever entry to the automobile market was in 1931 with the Mazda-go, a three-wheeled truck.
Mazda estimates that next week, it will report a group net loss of 100 billion yen ($1.21 billion) for the year that’s ending, Mazda will still overhaul money-losing operations and will focus its resources on passenger vehicles that use its Skyactiv technology, which has a highly fuel-efficient engine as its main feature. [source: Autonews]