By Kittipong Unparsert
Mazda has given its BT-50 pickup truck a minor change and announced that the new model will help it achieve a total pickup truck sales of 12,700 in 2008, up from 11,000 units in 2007.
Produced at the AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT) plant in Rayong, the BT-50 is also exported to 130 global markets from Thailand. The facelifted BT-50 maintains its sporty appeal, with the new design adding a more dynamic and robust look.
There is a new front pentagonal grille, along with new front bumpers, multi-reflector headlights and turning lights. Meanwhile, the rear lights are larger and come with chrome trim. The side profile is highlighted by a new wheel fender kit, as well as 15-inch or 16-inch 5-spoke wheels. There are 11 colours to choose from as well.
Mazda Sales Thailand Co Ltd marketing director Sureethip La-ongthong says that the company will focus on two-wheel-drive pickup models this year. As much as 97 per cent of Mazda pickup truck sales are made up of two-wheel-drive models, while the remaining 3 per cent are four-wheel-drive models for fleet customers.
"Previously the ratio between two- and four-wheel-drive models was 85/15, but presently the popularity of thr four-wheel-drive models have grown," she daid.
Sureethip said the company will emphasize on the 4x2 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter models, with prices starting at Bt489,000 foi the standard cab and Bt541,000 for the Freestyle cab. The 4x2 Hi Racer starts at Bt602,900 and the 4-door model at Bt612,900.
Mazda is also planning to spend Bt20 million for a countrywide roadshow to 12 provinces from March to June. Caravans of the BT-50 and Mazda3 will be shown along with special activities including special stunt shows, concerts, games and prizes. Sureethip said the automobile market should finish the year at 650,000 units, and Mazda plans to sell 16,000 units, which is approximately 2.5 per cent of the market.