Why the Land Cruiser is Toyota’s Biggest Mistake


In excess of the previous 20 years, the Land Cruiser has been Toyota’s most significant slip-up. Today let us faux we know improved than the advertising staff of Toyota by owning a glimpse at what they’ve performed mistaken and why profits in markets like the US have plummeted. To fully grasp this, we want to go again to the 1950 and 60s.

A Temporary Historical past of the Land Cruiser

In 1951, Toyota Manufactured the Toyota BJ for use by the Countrywide Police Reserve. It experienced four-wheel push and a 3.4-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine. Whilst the Toyota was extra strong, the Police reserve chose to use the Mitsubishi Jeep In its place. This was a accredited manufacturing version of the North American Willys Jeep. Toyota states that this happened owing to the Jeep’s substantial monitor document.

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Since the BJ didn’t work as a company car, in 1953 it was transformed for civilian use and was bought to the community with terrific achievement. As the decades progressed and all through the increase of Japan, the BJ grew to become the BJ20, then the FJ40, FJ55, FJ60, FJ80, and at last, it all fell apart.

The Trouble with the New Products

The 100 Collection Land Cruiser entirely shifted the design from being a truck of the men and women, personnel, and even leisure off-roaders to one thing only an individual with a hefty wallet could pay for. Even even worse, it missing most of the components that manufactured it so good off-road. It was significant, weighty, and attributes like technique, departure, and break-in excess of angles were being wholly lost. It was now a luxurious 4×4 and right here is exactly where by Toyota went improper

Quite a few might imagine that the earlier mentioned assertion is coming from a lover of off-roading who needs his strong axles again. Not genuinely, we nevertheless have a few of good axle automobiles on the current market. The difficulty with the Land Cruiser getting to be deluxe is just one of social picture.

People who have the resources to afford a $100,000 SUV in most conditions go for a Selection Rover, or a Mercedes, or BMW, or even a Bentley or Rolls Royce. Why? Very well, mainly because they showcase a selected picture. They have the Rolls-Royce or Range Rover badge and that tends to make them come to feel fantastic. These who purchase SUVs in this price selection do not want their car to say Toyota on it. It’s just the way the head works. Pretty several persons (me involved) would invest in a luxury SUV and go for the Land Cruiser. The reason its nameplate serves does not in good shape the current market it is sold in.

Why the Previous-Faculty 4-Wheel-Drives Do So Well

This is why the Jeep Wrangler or the outdated Defender do so perfectly. They have never ever deviated from the routes. A 2022 Jeep Wrangler still looks like the to start with at any time Willys Jeep and underneath it shares a very similar base. It functions stable axles with a whole lot of articulation, diff locks, and immensely neat appears to be. For that reason, it delivers the image folks who like the outdoor want to share.

The very same is genuine for the Defender. Right up until 2015, it was in essence the exact motor vehicle as the types made in the 80s but with a more refined engine and some additional comforts. Ford also did the exact with the new Bronco. They modernized an aged vintage and the effects are wonderful. The media has long gone ridiculous in excess of it and folks are obtaining it.

These manufacturers never ever tried using to promote the bare-bones work design to the luxury marketplace. As a substitute, they arrived up with distinct automobiles like the Grand Wagoneer or the Variety Rover.

The Land Cruiser Desires a Entire Redesign

The recent Land Cruiser ought to have been completely redesigned and renamed into a Lexus model. Beneath it ought to have ditched the stable axle to focus on good ride top quality and luxury facilities for the inside. The existing Land Cruiser should be redesigned into one thing closer to the 4Runner. Even so, to contend with the Jeep it will need a reliable entrance axle, diff locks, and big tires from the factory. If not, a intelligent unbiased suspension like the a single on the Bronco may well also get the job done (it will not be as solid as the Wrangler however)

Of course, the Land Cruiser, in marketplaces like Africa and Australia nonetheless sells nicely. Nevertheless, these parts also get the 70 Sequence variant which is a bare-bones aged-school Land Cruiser. It has stable axles, two diff locks, and the inside is as very simple as it receives. This could be the most trusted vehicle one particular can currently acquire manufacturer new. With a improve to a coil sprung rear finish, updates to the inside, and some styling changes to healthy the “lifestyle” area of interest the 70 would sell like ridiculous in the U.S. Right after all, the attractiveness of routines like off-roading and overlanding is as a result of the roof suitable now.

Closing Thoughts

If Toyota manages to mix its remarkable build quality with the outdated-school attributes of the early Land Cruiser like Jeep does with the Wrangler, it will be an fast winner. Think about a modernized FJ40, but not like the FJ Cruiser. It requirements to be squarer and extra able off-street. This would reignite the desire in the car or truck. But, unfortunately, Toyota is way as well conservative.

The Land Cruiser is a excellent car. We are by no means suggesting that it is not. They are very properly created and engineered and to this date, it stays 1 of the most dependable cars on earth. On the other hand, the new ones have an id crisis and this demands to be changed if Toyota wants to provide back again the model’s gross sales figures.

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