Once upon a time, trucks made up a big part of Mazda’s business portfolio. The brand’s first product was the 1931 DA cargo trike, which spawned a successful line of cargo trucks that culminated in the gigantic 1971-1974 T-2000.
But in the ’60s, Mazda started branching out into the realm of four-wheeled trucks, with the B1500. By 1965, the carmaker was co-producing its B-series trucks with Ford—a successful venture that would last until 2006, when it was replaced by the BT-50. While technically still a B-series, this marked a turning point in the Ford-Mazda truck partnership, with Ford taking control over the Ranger/B-series truck line. By 2011, the BT-50 was nothing but a Ford Ranger wrapped in Mazda sheet metal.
While this was going on, however, Mazda was rolling out its revolutionary new Skyactiv chassis and engine technology that, among other things, allowed for a more modular production system. A system that allowed them to build any Mazda product on any Mazda production line.