Why the Land Cruiser is Toyota’s Biggest Mistake

Lyle Ellerbee

More than the previous 20 decades, the Land Cruiser has been Toyota’s biggest miscalculation. Currently let us faux we know far better than the marketing crew of Toyota by getting a seem at what they’ve accomplished completely wrong and why profits in markets like the US have plummeted. To realize this, we have to have to go again to the 1950 and 60s.

A Transient Heritage of the Land Cruiser

In 1951, Toyota Generated the Toyota BJ for use by the National Law enforcement Reserve. It experienced four-wheel generate and a 3.4-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine. Though the Toyota was a lot more powerful, the Police reserve chose to use the Mitsubishi Jeep As an alternative. This was a licensed manufacturing version of the North American Willys Jeep. Toyota states that this transpired because of to the Jeep’s in depth monitor history.


Due to the fact the BJ didn’t function as a provider vehicle, in 1953 it was transformed for civilian use and was marketed to the general public with great success. As the several years progressed and all through the rise of Japan, the BJ turned the BJ20, then the FJ40, FJ55, FJ60, FJ80, and ultimately, it all fell aside.

The Trouble with the New Styles

The 100 Series Land Cruiser completely shifted the model from staying a truck of the people, employees, and even recreational off-roaders to some thing only another person with a significant wallet could manage. Even worse, it lost most of the elements that produced it so fantastic off-street. It was huge, weighty, and characteristics like technique, departure, and split-above angles have been totally missing. It was now a luxury 4×4 and listed here is exactly where Toyota went mistaken

Numerous may perhaps think that the earlier mentioned statement is coming from a lover of off-roading who needs his sound axles back. Not genuinely, we still have a pair of strong axle autos on the current market. The challenge with the Land Cruiser turning into magnificent is a single of social image.

People who have the funds to afford a $100,000 SUV in most instances go for a Array Rover, or a Mercedes, or BMW, or even a Bentley or Rolls Royce. Why? Perfectly, because they showcase a selected graphic. They have the Rolls-Royce or Variety Rover badge and that tends to make them really feel superior. Individuals who get SUVs in this selling price range do not want their car to say Toyota on it. It’s just the way the mind functions. Pretty several men and women (me integrated) would get a luxurious SUV and go for the Land Cruiser. The function its nameplate serves does not in good shape the industry it is bought in.

Why the Old-College Four-Wheel-Drives Do So Nicely

This is why the Jeep Wrangler or the aged Defender do so very well. They have never deviated from the routes. A 2022 Jeep Wrangler however seems to be like the very first at any time Willys Jeep and beneath it shares a related foundation. It options good axles with a whole lot of articulation, diff locks, and immensely awesome appears to be like. For that reason, it delivers the picture persons who enjoy the outdoor want to share.

The exact is genuine for the Defender. Until eventually 2015, it was primarily the exact car or truck as the ones designed in the 80s but with a extra refined engine and some extra comforts. Ford also did the similar with the new Bronco. They modernized an outdated typical and the results are good. The media has absent mad above it and men and women are getting it.

These models never attempted to promote the bare-bones function design to the luxury marketplace. As an alternative, they arrived up with various autos like the Grand Wagoneer or the Assortment Rover.

The Land Cruiser Needs a Comprehensive Redesign

The latest Land Cruiser need to have been absolutely redesigned and renamed into a Lexus model. Underneath it should really have ditched the solid axle to concentration on terrific journey high-quality and luxurious features for the inside. The recent Land Cruiser ought to be redesigned into some thing closer to the 4Runner. Even so, to contend with the Jeep it will need to have a solid front axle, diff locks, and massive tires from the manufacturing facility. If not, a clever independent suspension like the a person on the Bronco may also do the job (it will not be as strong as the Wrangler even though)

Indeed, the Land Cruiser, in markets like Africa and Australia continue to sells very well. However, these places also get the 70 Series variant which is a bare-bones old-faculty Land Cruiser. It has reliable axles, two diff locks, and the inside is as uncomplicated as it will get. This may be the most trusted automobile one can at present get brand new. With a alter to a coil sprung rear conclude, updates to the interior, and some styling adjustments to in good shape the “lifestyle” area of interest the 70 would promote like ridiculous in the U.S. Right after all, the acceptance of routines like off-roading and overlanding is by way of the roof ideal now.

Ultimate Feelings

If Toyota manages to blend its outstanding make high-quality with the aged-school characteristics of the early Land Cruiser like Jeep does with the Wrangler, it will be an fast winner. Picture a modernized FJ40, but not like the FJ Cruiser. It needs to be squarer and additional able off-road. This would reignite the curiosity in the car or truck. But, unfortunately, Toyota is way much too conservative.

The Land Cruiser is a wonderful auto. We are by no usually means suggesting that it isn’t. They are exceptionally well designed and engineered and to this date, it continues to be one particular of the most responsible automobiles on earth. Nonetheless, the new types have an identification crisis and this desires to be transformed if Toyota wants to carry back again the model’s sales figures.

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