Mazda strengthens partnership with Katala Foundation

Bermaz Auto Philippines (Mazda Philippines), the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country, strengthened its partnership with the non-stock, non-profit organization, Katala Foundation, Inc., and their fight to protect the endangered Philippine pangolin (manis culionensis).

The partnership, which started in 2020, saw Mazda Philippines lend a BT-50 to the Palawan-based Katala Foundation. Three years later, that very same BT-50 has been turned over as a vehicle donation to the NGO in recognition of their continued efforts to promote its wildlife protection advocacies, and perform its preservation and monitoring duties of the Philippine pangolin.

The vehicle turnover was formalized in a simple ceremony that coincided with the fourth Roxas Pangolin Day. The management team of Bermaz Auto Philippines, led by its president and CEO, Steven Tan; Ronette Tanjuatco, general manager for finance and administration; and Saul Babas, general manager for marketing, PR & sales operation were present for the signing. Representing Katala Foundation was Dr. Sabine Schoppe. The Municipality of Roxas and its mayor Hon. Dennis Sabando, Apollo Regalo (Palawan Council for Sustainable Development North District Manager), and Pablo Cruz of the DENR-CENRO, witnessed the signing.

The 2024 Mazda BT-50 4×4 Pangolin Edition

The LGU of Roxas in Palawan proved to be invaluable in the conservation of the Philippine pangolin. What was once a thriving illegal wildlife trade in the area has turned into a true collaboration for the protection of the endemic species. Roxas is one of the main producers of cashews in Palawan and the pangolins help keep the population of termites—a pest that commonly invades cashew trees—controlled.

The original BT-50 Pangolin, which has already accumulated more than 100,000 kilometers in its three-year stint has been joined by a new BT-50 Pangolin 2. The BT-50 Pangolin 2 is the newest vehicle to join the Katala Foundation’s fleet to further boost its conservation program efforts.

Katala Foundation’s Dr. Sabine Schoppe and Bermaz Auto Philippines President and CEO Steven Tan

Launched in 2022, the BT-50 4×4 Pangolin Edition 2 features a wider, more powerful stance than the regular BT-50 thanks to bespoke 18-inch Gloss Black Rota alloy wheels with an exclusive Pangolin center cap. With 10 mm of additional offset, the wheels now sit flush with the standard black fender flares and body-colored side step boards.

Complementing the muscular stance, the BT-50 4×4 Pangolin Edition 2 comes with a two-tone black/body-colored fashion bar which not only gives the BT-50 a sleeker, almost SUV-like profile, but also improves the aerodynamic air flow towards the back of the pickup truck. And like other BT-50 variants, it offers an extremely generous tub. Together with its standard bedliner, this makes for a versatile hauler for cargo of various shapes and sizes. The lockable revolver bed cover helps keep items stored in the bed safe and secure, while a tailgate assist function eases the opening and closing of the tailgate.

The BT-50 4×4 Pangolin Edition 2 is powered by a 3.0-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine generating 190 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and 450 Nm of torque from 1,600 rpm. This is mated to a highly strong and responsive 6-speed automatic.

Guaranteeing its surefootedness on any terrain, the BT-50 4×4 Pangolin Edition 2 sports an electronically controlled Drive Selector featuring options for 2-wheel Drive Low, 2-wheel Drive High, 4-wheel Drive Low, and 4-wheel Drive High. Together with an electronic Rear Differential Lock, maximum contact and traction is achieved even on loose and undulating surfaces.

Mazda Active Safety Technology (MAST), equipped as standard on all BT-50 4×4 variants, help the BT-50 4×4 Pangolin Edition  2 achieve class-leading safety. It bundles technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Auto High Beam Control, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This is on top of 7 airbags and Electronic Stability Control.

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