Isuzu says whiles its new D-Max provides a base for the likewise box-fresh Mazda BT-50, the two automakers provide “very different brand propositions”.

Ben Jaeger, Isuzu Ute Australia general manager of sales, told CarsGuide.com.au the two Japanese brands “appeal to very different customer bases”.

“At the end of the day, it’s the elephant in the room, isn’t it? But the reality is that we’ve got two very different brands; two very different brand propositions,” he said.

“Our brands themselves appeal to very different customer bases. We sort of earned our stripes in the commercial space; we’ve got a very, very strong reputation for that,” said Jaeger, .

He added Isuzu’s network coverage Down Under was another “real strength”, before saying the company was “quite rounded in what we can offer up to a variety of customers”, lining up with earlier comments the company planned to pull some private sales from popular rivals such as the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

“Now I can't speak for Mazda; they might be working really hard on their end in that space as well, but I guess that’s our position to market,” Jaeger said.

In July 2020, Mazda Australia marketing chief Alastair Doak said the new BT-50’s styling would serve to differentiate it from the D-Max.

Like the D-Max on which it’s based, the flagship double-cab variant of the new BT-50 range is powered by Isuzu’s 3,0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which delivers 140 kW at 3 600 r/min and 450 N.m from 1 600 to 2 600 r/min.

While the new D-Max will arrive in local dealerships only after production starts in Port Elizabeth in the second half of 2021, Mazda Southern Africa has yet to confirm when it plans to launch its version.