Is the Toyota Land Cruiser Dead? Why Isn’t It Selling Like Other SUVs?

If the Toyota Land Cruiser was killed tomorrow, would anyone know? Would anyone care? It depends on who you hang around with.

Rumors abound that the Land Cruiser will be discontinued in 2021. As less than 3,000 are sold annually, those circulating the rumors seem to be the only ones who care, and they are not in a position to afford one because they are automotive scribs. We can tell you for sure that those types of people barely make enough dough to get from week-to-week. Trust us on this one!

Anyway, since 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser sales have averaged less than 3,000 vehicles a year, the question should be is that even considered mass production? Or another might be can Toyota even make money off of less than 3,000 of one vehicle a year?

Two Land Cruisers

Actually there are two Land Cruisers. The other Land Cruiser is the Lexus LX570. It’s a Land Cruiser with an even uglier face. But, it sells a bit more at around 4-5,000 units on average the last several years. The difference is it makes a lot more cha-cha for Toyota because it sells for way more than a Land Cruiser. 

So what should Toyota do? Sure, the Land Cruiser is an iconic brand, but so was Plymouth and Pontiac. The unfortunate truth is that business is business, and it would seem that Toyota should just kill the Land Cruiser and try to sell a few more LX570s. Or, if they’re barely making money off of these behemoths, just kill them both.

The current ungainly version has been around since 2008, so it would seem that if Toyota had any plans to juice up sales they would have plugged in a revised version to stimulate purchases. Obviously, they have not. What does that tell you? 

Hotter Than SUVs

The only weird part is that SUVs are hotter now than ever. So it would make sense that Land Cruisers should be flying off of dealers’ lots. But they don’t. Is that part of Toyota’s grand plan? By making them limited and costly, maybe that’s the formula for keeping them going? Or not? 

Did Toyota FJ production cut into Land Cruiser sales? It’s hard to say. When introduced in 2006 the FJ sold over 55,000 for two years running. And after that it still sold almost 30,000 a year before settling into a 14,000 a year run for six more years. So, the FJ always outsold the Land Cruiser.

A New FJ/Land Cruiser?

Maybe Toyota should consider doing a new FJ but call it Land Cruiser? The early Land Cruisers were a nice size and design. The current one is large, and the design is subjective so we’ll leave that for you to decide. Or maybe Toyota should do another FJ and a super-optioned edition would be called Land Cruiser? 

With the current automotive landscape paved in crossovers and SUVs it would seem that the FJ and Cruiser are the right vehicles for the times. As Toyota starts to pare back sedans, which we are expecting, maybe they can put development and marketing money behind its SUVs for once. With less vehicles to shuffle and market they might find they can get them to stand out among the sea of other SUVs that are selling like crazy. What do you think?