When was the final time you noticed a Toyota Land Cruiser? You’ll be able to’t go a block with out seeing a number of 4Runners, Highlanders, Tacomas, and RAV4s—and even the occasional Sequoia—however recognizing any technology of a Land Cruiser is a rarity. For all its identify recognition and iconic historical past, there simply aren’t that many working across the U.S. And after the model-year 2021 iterations are constructed, there will probably be no new ones offered in America, a minimum of for some time.
We first heard rumblings of the Land Cruiser’s demise within the States greater than a yr in the past when a number of sources at Toyota hinted to MotorTrend that the Land Cruiser was in bother. Though on the time Toyota PR formally denied any such risk existed, the automaker has lastly acknowledged that its legendary nameplate is leaving American dealerships quickly:
The Toyota Land Cruiser has been a legendary identify for greater than 60 years. Whereas it is going to be discontinued in america after the 2021 mannequin yr, we stay dedicated to the massive SUV phase and can proceed to discover future merchandise that remember the Land Cruiser’s wealthy off-road historical past. We encourage loyal lovers and intrepid adventurers to remain tuned for future developments.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is the company’s longest-running nameplate and has lengthy been revered for its potential to do, properly, precisely what it says in its identify: cruise the land, irrespective of the terrain. It is dependable and comfy, and has a cult-like following because of its wealthy heritage and navy roots. Older classic fashions (like those we recently drove) have confirmed more and more standard amongst collectors, as mirrored by the massive sums of cash now required to amass an excellent one.
At the moment, although, few available in the market for a brand new, extremely off-road-capable automobile gravitate towards a Land Cruiser; there’s merely an excessive amount of competitors within the massive SUV phase, and Toyota itself has restricted gross sales by giving the SUV nearly zero advertising and marketing help. The newest Land Cruiser, generally known as the 200 Sequence, dates again to the 2008 mannequin yr, with simply 35,000 offered since within the U.S.—the very best annual gross sales have been in 2008, with 3,801 moved. Availability was undoubtedly a compounding challenge for the North American Land Cruiser—international manufacturing facility capability for the Land Cruiser cannot be elevated with out constructing or retooling a brand new meeting location, that means each market fights over the identical annual quantity—whereas regardless of its functionality and excessive ranges of luxurious, status-obsessed consumers aren’t more likely to fork over its lofty base value ($86,780 for 2020) for one thing carrying a Toyota badge. Heritage can solely transfer so a lot of these items, in any case.
In fact, this is not the top for the Land Cruiser elsewhere, as it will continue in other world markets. Toyota’s assertion leaves open the potential of a return someday within the close to future, if not of a automobile with the LC identify maybe one with its spirit. What meaning precisely—possibly the Sequoia will get renamed?—we hope to seek out out quickly. For now, although, the Toyota Land Cruiser is lifeless. Lengthy dwell the Toyota Land Cruiser.