The Toyota Land Cruiser and Its Humanitarian Efforts
The Toyota Land Cruiser might look like a regular large SUV from the outside, but it goes further than that. Literally and figuratively. What has the Toyota Land Cruiser accomplished in the last 70 years? A lot, actually, especially with humanitarian efforts globally. However, the Cruiser will still happily take your groceries home and settle into your two-car garage if needed.
What is so special about Toyota Land Cruiser?
In a press release, the brand pointed out that the Toyota Land Cruiser has symbolized safety and security for over 70 years. In 1951 when the LC first came out, the original Toyota BJ had a powerful engine of its own. This was the first vehicle to climb past the sixth checkpoint of Mount Fuji. After that, Japan adopted the BJ as the official police patrol car.
Since then, more than 10.4 million SUVs have made the way through over 170 countries. That same drive has ensured the cruiser was able to get to places other vehicles couldn’t get to.
Toyota notes that the Land Cruiser has been a tool to help support the livelihood of those in remote areas, a humanitarian and disaster relief aid, and beyond that, a vehicle that can be a tool for adventure. Toyota set the expectations for the Land Cruiser as “a vehicle that promises to take you anywhere & everywhere and come back alive and safe.” Though the vehicle has changed slightly over the years, Toyota has not strayed from those expectations very much.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is not just a vehicle for humanitarian efforts
Paul Currion wrote about the Toyota Land Cruiser in the Panorama Journal. One satirical website (Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like) noted that no one would take you seriously without your Land Cruiser in tow. But there is a point beyond the joke. The Land Cruiser can traverse areas other vehicles wouldn’t be able to.
“it’s also true that if you can’t successfully traverse the mountains of Pakistan, penetrate the jungles of the DR Congo, cruise the desert highways of Iraq, or navigate the ruined cities like Mogadishu, then you can’t do the job.”Paul Currion | Panorama Journal
Currion continued on to say that while the LC is important in transportation and getting to the people who need help, it is also a station of its own. While out in areas with extreme weather or situations, the Cruiser allowed workers a moment of quiet. It provided an office for work, an air-conditioned space for a break, and a vessel to travel in.
And though it has many uses for various aid programs worldwide, it also provides vehicles for safaris, off-road adventures, and regular street driving.
Other uses for the famous Toyota SUV
Not long ago, the Pope used a bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser to make his rounds. The World Health Organization (WHO) used a refrigerated 70-Series Land Cruiser to help deliver and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. This was the first vehicle in the world to obtain the Performance, Quality, and Safety (PQS) pre-qualification.
This is a huge deal. The PQS “was established to promote the development of medical devices and equipment applicable for the United Nations’ procurement as well as to set quality standards.”
The International Federation of Red Cross has a program that incorporates the Land Cruiser and humanitarian action. The global fleet solutions mission helps provide efficient and cost-effective vehicles.
The IFRC offers a vehicle rental program for those who might not afford outright purchases. This allows groups to rent vehicles for as long as needed instead of purchasing. This offers about a 25% savings and includes the required maintenance. Four of the eight vehicles offered are some Land Cruiser.
The Land Cruiser might look like a normal SUV to some, but it isn’t. Toyota is responsible for aiding countries around the world that otherwise might not have such assistance. Thank you, Toyota Land Cruiser, for your humanitarian aid around the world. And also for taking popsicles home from Publix when necessary.