Don’t listen to certain talking heads who are trying to tell us that all hands are busy switching to electric transportation pods and there’s no market for enormous SUVs. In Japan, where they’d have you believe streets are tighter than two coats of paint and no one drives anything bigger than a Kei car, Toyota is apparently running up against lengthy waitlists for its new Land Cruiser.
How long? Try four years.
The company has gone so far as to issue an apology on the landing page for this particular model, saying “The delivery time for ordering from now on may be about 4 years.” They then go on to explain they are attempting their “utmost to shorten the delivery time of our customers,” and that those holding keys to the place appreciate the understanding nature of its customers. Thank (or blame) Google Translate for the quality of that translation from the Toyota website.
Colloquially called the 300-Series, this brute of an SUV is enjoying massive demand. About six months ago, citing a year-long waiting list, reports surfaced that Toyota was asking its customers to sign a contractual agreement upon purchase specifying the new titleholder would not be able to resell their Land Cruiser for fat profits within the first 12 months of ownership. With a four-year delay now on the docket, think they’ll adjust that stipulation? Could they enforce it if they did?
On this side of the pond, Toyota has decided not to offer this new Land Cruiser, instead plowing development dollars into a new Sequoia. That model officially debuts tomorrow, January 25th. While the Land Cruiser name is spoken in hushed tones in some circles, there’s definitely a business case to be argued that the Sequoia and Land Cruiser would simply steal sales from each other, not to mention compete with the tony LX 600 which occupies the upper echelon of Lexus showrooms.
The outgoing Land Cruiser, sometimes referred to as the 200 Series, was on sale since 2008. It featured many of the model’s traditional hallmarks – such as a robust built and mountain-goat off-road capability – and capped its tenure with a Heritage Edition that your author liked simply for the throwback script used in its badging. Yes, I am easily distracted. While many fans of the line rightly point to the so-called 40 Series or 60 Series Cruisers as their faves, my preference is the 1990 – 1997 80 Series units with their straight-six engine and just-right proportions. The pre-’95 years are my gold standard since they don’t have the ugly lunchbox of an airbag in their steering wheel (yes, I’m strange but we know you weirdos appreciate dorky details).
In the States, Toyota has sold about 13,000 Sequoia SUVs per annum for approximately the last decade, while the Land Cruiser has moved at approximately a quarter that pace.
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