Isuzu and Mazda are looking at a three-month halt in vehicle production for the D-MAX and BT-50 due to Covid-19.
From what we’ve been able to ascertain, the production halt has come about as a supplier of ‘unique powertrain components’ needed to close its manufacturing plant in Europe due to a resurgence of Covid-19. The parts in question appear to be unique to the Australian-spec D-MAX and BT-50, thus the halt in production will only affect the Australian (and New Zealand) markets.
At the time of writing, Isuzu Ute Australia has been fairly upfront with both punters and us media types alike, offering up this statement relating to the halt in production of the D-MAX (and in turn the Mazda BT-50):
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, Isuzu UTE Australia regrettably advises that production of the 21MY Isuzu D-MAX has been temporarily put on hold. The unfortunate pause in vehicle production is related to one of our key component suppliers in Europe (producing unique components for our Australian-specification D-MAX) has had to temporally close their manufacturing plant due to COVID-19. As a result, we have had to suspend our D-MAX production in Thailand for up to 3 months, with a tentative recommencement of vehicle production of February 2021. The pause in production is limited to the 21MY Isuzu D-MAX and does not affect the production of the Isuzu MU-X. Isuzu UTE Australia apologises for the inconvenience caused and would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation.”
We’ve reached out to Mazda Australia but have yet to hear back regarding the impact the production halt might have on local BT-50 supplies. That said, there has been no media release or other notification from Mazda regarding the pause. The Mazda BT-50 shares an identical platform and powertrain to the Isuzu D-MAX, aside from some interior trim and some body panels. This in turn confirms that the halt in production will affect both the Isuzu D-MAX and Mazda BT-50.
This news comes as Isuzu just nailed third spot with the D-MAX the top-selling dual-cab 4X4 ute in Australia in October, according to VFACTS, behind the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux. We called a local Isuzu dealer who confirmed there were currently plenty of vehicles in stock, and more on the way, so the pause in production shouldn’t affect Aussie stock levels until early next year.
We’ll keep you updated as more information comes to hand.