Any off-road enthusiast will be familiar with the Toyota FJ Cruiser, a boxy and retro off-road vehicle that has high and stable prices in the used car market today. It also has a devoted following from off-road lovers globally, even if it was discontinued less than a decade ago.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser was a perfect car for those who needed a retro off-roader, especially in places where the roads are bad. Thus, the automobile had an extensive production run from its emergence in 2003 till its discontinuation finally in 2017 (2014 in the USA).
The purchases surpassed the expectations of Toyota and were well-received around the world, but suddenly, no one was purchasing it again, leading to its discontinuation.
Performance of the FJ Cruiser in the US
The FJ Cruiser was released in 2003 as a modern remake of the classic off-roaders Toyota had produced in the late 1950s in the USA. They featured old school designs that made them look like Land Rovers and Jeeps, and were considered classics.
The first ones were mostly sold globally, especially where the streets weren’t so good and the drivers needed sturdy automobiles that won’t be damaged by the road. When the concept of reviving the FJ Cruiser was announced, it was well-received and production started in 2006.
The sales of the off-roader surpassed Toyota’s expectations for the first two years. While the company expected annual sales of 40,000, they sold 56,225 in 2006 and 55,170 in 2007.
But in 2008, the purchases dropped drastically because of different reasons, especially the tanking economy and increased gas costs.
Why the Toyota FJ Cruiser was Discontinued
There are three main reasons why they no longer produced the FJ Cruiser in 2014 in the USA.
The Recession in 2008
This can be seen as the first nail on the coffin. From the economic decline of 2008, the FJ Cruiser’s sales reduced drastically and the company was no longer gaining from it.
A Rise in Gas Prices
With the recession came an increase in fuel costs in the United States, and this hit the truck and automobile industry hard. Toyota was not left out from this, as fewer people were interested in buying the FJ Cruiser.
The Competitors Edge
In the manufacturing of the FJ Cruiser, it was admitted that Toyota cut costs, causing their competitors to use this as an edge over them. After 2007, the purchases dropped to an averagely 14,000 yearly.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is Popular Today
The FJ Cruiser is now enjoying an impressive run in the used market. The off-roaders hold their values extremely well, even better than some other automobiles in this market. It’s estimated that even after three years, the FJ Cruiser still had up to 60% of its value.
Although it isn’t uncommon for rare off-roaders to be popular among collectors and enthusiasts, the records that this off-roader holds are startling. In many parts of the world, like the Middle East, it even has better demand because of the sand.
Now that diesel prices are averagely low again and there is increased demand for off-roaders and SUV, there are many off-road vehicles from almost every car manufacturer out there.
Many believe that the FJ Cruiser was simply a victim of bad timing. If it was released after the recession, it would have enjoyed a long production run. Even with its enduring popularity, it is unsure whether Toyota will manufacture the FJ Cruisers again.