By on January 24, 2022


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.

[Image: Toyota]

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12 Comments on “Wait for New Land Cruiser Stretches Nearly Half a Decade...”

  • avatar

    To my eye this is much more attractive than the Lexus version we are getting in the US.

    • 0 avatar

      They used a potato masher as a template for the grille. In this application, it’s a pedestrian masher.
      This is the Japanese version of the Maverick – an unexpected sales success, with demand far outstripping supply.

  • avatar

    Maybe we’ll get it in the US once they are able to produce enough to satisfy higher-margin markets.

    • 0 avatar

      The margins in the US were about the highest for the LC anywhere. Only the top spec versions were sold, and even those were priced completely out of proportion here.

      But volumes were low. It doesn’t make much sense in a place where there is little penalty for simply going bigger if you need more “capability.” So, over here, it sold largely to the Leica crowd, rather than to anyone with much in the way pf practical intent for it.

      • 0 avatar

        I have a hard time believing US margins were highest when prices are significantly higher elsewhere. The price of a low-spec 200 series Cruiser in quite a few global markets was about the same as the price of the fully loaded V8 version here. You’re right, though, that the product is better optimized for other markets.

  • avatar

    They hardly sell any in the U.K. I think most sales now must be in the developing world.

    • 0 avatar

      Most are sold in the developing world paid for by the tax dollars of the middle class of the first world.

    • 0 avatar

      Toyota can only push 3,500 LC’s annually here. Meanwhile GM owns 55% of the large SUV segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        Thanks for the link. For GM the large SUV market is a license to print money and GM will continue to make them as long as they are profitable and as long as large suvs are not regulated out of existence. Large suvs could go the way of the large land yacht cars if the Department of Energy and EPA require larger gains in mpgs which the next step would be more hybrid powertrains and then EVs. GM, Ford, and Stelantis have a huge incentive to keep these vehicles in their stable.

        • 0 avatar

          @Jeff S,

          I believe you will find that the last significant revisions to U.S. fuel economy standards were written with GM’s fullsize SUVs specifically in mind.

          (President Biden will meet later today with Mary Barra and Jim Farley to discuss how to use your tax dollars to better support their companies. He will not be meeting with me.)

  • avatar

    The Rivian R1S is more attractive to my eye, better for both the off-road and on-road use-cases, and competitively priced for the segment.

    Rivian also supports the local economy here in Central Illinois. Go home-team!

  • avatar

    You are also able to order a base Land Cruiser GX for 45K USD including 10% sales tax over there. No wonder why everyone is waiting in line.

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