Toyota made headlines when they announced the withdrawal of their iconic SUV, the Land Cruiser, from the US market. This decision came as a surprise to many loyalists of the brand, who had been enjoying the full-size model since 1951.The Japanese automaker has stated that they will continue to explore future products that celebrate the Land Cruiser's rich off-road history. However, there has been much debate and discussion in automotive circles about whether Toyota will take steps to fill the gap in their top range. The most important problem Toyota will face in discontinuing the Land Cruiser and renaming Lexus is its customer loyalty.
Many buyers wanted to get hold of a Land Cruiser with a V8 engine, a powertrain that would almost certainly be dropped if the Land Cruiser returned to the US. And while there may be little in common visually between the truck and the global J300 Land Cruiser, they're almost identical underneath their cabs. Before sharpening the forks and lighting the torches, it is important to note that the Land Cruiser J200 series is still a capable all-rounder despite being a decade old. Toyota officials have indicated plans to electrify essentially all future Toyota models, which could mean that the Land Cruiser will be replaced by an electric version.
Taking the next-generation Supra as an example, Toyota decided to focus on its millions of Corolas and Camrys and let BMW do the work for its new Supra. Land Cruiser buyers are usually people who sleep, business owners or CEOs of construction companies who buy the Toyota badge because of its simplicity, reliability and comfort, and don't want to be seen in a flashy Range Rover. If the second-hand market isn't enough, internal competition from 4Runner and Sequoia makes the Land Cruiser a completely obsolete SUV. Until Toyota realizes this error of their ways, the Land Cruiser must be put to an end.