The retro-inspired Toyota FJ Cruiser is a mid-size SUV. The iconic FJ40 Land Cruiser served as inspiration for the FJ Cruiser’s off-road aesthetic.
At the North American International Auto Show in January 2003, it was unveiled as a concept car. Production of the FJ Cruiser was authorized after receiving intense consumer backing.
But, why did Toyota discontinue production of the FJ Cruiser? Let’s find out more!
Why Did Toyota Stop Making The FJ Cruiser?
Toyota stopped making the FJ Cruiser because of several factors, such as the 2008 recession, that greatly affected the FJ Cruiser’s profitability. In addition, the model continued to appeal to consumers at a higher price point than normal people could not afford. Also, the Toyota FJ Cruiser has very poor gas mileage, which makes the vehicle unlikable to many consumers.
Learn more about why Toyota stopped making the FJ Cruiser. Here are nine reasons why. Keep reading for full details!
1. Sales Fell Off During The Recession
The first challenge in the FJ Cruiser’s career was the recession of 2008, which marked the beginning of decreasing sales and the end of profitability.
Of course, to honor Toyota FJ Land Cruisers, the Toyota FJ Cruiser had its concept premiere in 2003. In the 2006 year units, the first production runs hit the market.
They were designed as a vintage off-road vehicle and were first highly well-liked.
Unfortunately, Toyota was severely impacted by the 2008 recession, which had a negative impact on FJ Cruiser sales.
Although it was performing well prior to then, it was ultimately canceled by 2014. That was partly due to the FJ Cruiser’s likeness to the original Jeep.
2. Too Expensive To Produce But Lacking In Demand
Toyota stopped making the FJ Cruiser because it was simply too expensive to produce, and as a result, it lost money.
In addition, the FJ Cruiser was a unique vehicle that was designed to be a tough, reliable off-roader that could handle harsh conditions and off-road driving.
It had four-wheel drive and great ground clearance, which made it ideal for off-roading. The FJ Cruiser also came with a large cargo area and seating for eight people.
Unfortunately for Toyota, the FJ Cruiser was not very popular with consumers because it was too expensive to buy and maintain.
Sales were poor despite its high quality construction and strong reputation among those who knew about its capabilities from firsthand experience.
Therefore, Toyota decided to discontinue the production of the FJ Cruiser due to lack of demand.
3. Crowd’s Acceptance To FJ Cruiser
The automotive press lavished accolades on the FJ Cruiser when it made its debut. But it also had detractors.
Given that the entirety of the company’s portfolio was quite plain and conservative.
Several automotive journalists applauded Toyota for having the courage to market such a radically designed and purpose-driven automobile.
Further, the FJ received favorable publicity for its off-road capabilities as well, and the off-road enthusiasts immediately concurred.
However, some reviewers disagreed with the SUV’s off-road orientation, saying it had excessive body roll and poor lateral grip ability.
4. It Continued To Sell Abroad
The FJ Cruiser was mainly created by Toyota for the North American market, but it has emerged to be sold in other regions of the world, such as the Japanese market beginning December 2010.
Additionally, the FJ Cruiser was introduced to New Zealand and Australia in 2011, where it was only offered with a gasoline engine mated to an automatic gearbox and driving all four wheels.
Toyota abandoned the FJ Cruiser in a very limited number of locations worldwide starting in 2017. By 2020, the FJ Cruiser was still available in a few regions and nations around the world.
5. Not Appealing Enough
Its SUV design would not sell well in the U.S., where consumers prefer SUVs that are smaller and more fuel efficient than large ones like the FJ Cruiser is designed for.
And where consumers value fuel efficiency over all else when buying cars, trucks, or SUVs.
This means that despite its size, the FJ Cruiser would never be as popular or as successful as it could have been if it were American-built.
Therefore, Toyota decided against continuing production of this model altogether.
6. Sales Were Declining
Toyota is a very popular brand in the United States, and they have been making cars for over 60 years now.
They have a wide selection of vehicles to choose from, so it’s not surprising to find that many people like their cars, and even more people want to buy one.
But Toyota has been struggling in recent years because of low sales numbers.
In fact, they’ve been losing money for several years now, and this has led them to stop making the FJ Cruiser altogether.
7. The FJ Cruiser Did Not Have Enough Features For Toyota’s Target Customer
The FJ Cruiser was not designed with the average American family in mind.
Of course, it had much more space than any other vehicle on the market, and it had to be able to handle the rigors of off-roading and road travel.
But it was not designed to be driven by young parents who needed something compact and easy to drive while driving their kids around town every day.
8. Toyota Is Trying To Appeal To More Customers With Higher Prices
The FJ Cruiser has been on the market for several years, which means that there are plenty of competitors who can produce similar vehicles at a cheaper price tag and offer better reliability and performance.
Then, the FJ Cruiser has become “dated” as time goes on because people prefer newer cars with faster acceleration times and better fuel efficiency.
Not like slower-moving SUVs like the FJ Cruiser, which were popular when SUVs were still considered a luxury item that only the wealthy could afford.
9. FJ Cruiser’s Gas Mileage Wasn’t Good Enough
The FJ Cruiser had the lowest gas mileage of any SUV of its time and it was held back by a thirsty engine.
According to one report, the FJ Cruiser’s fuel economy was at best an average of 26 miles per gallon, which is not very impressive compared to other SUVs or midsize trucks of its era.
Therefore, Toyota decided that they needed to make a more efficient SUV, so they discontinued the FJ Cruiser line.
The FJ Cruiser’s simple design, impressive off-road capabilities, and ruggedness is enough reason to be an instant hit with Toyota fans.
And indeed, it was. But what killed the FJ Cruiser after just a few years into its production cycle? It was mainly because of the declining sales, which is not a good reason to continue.
However, you can still find many used models of the FJ Cruiser for sale on various sites, and surely Toyota will make a new vehicle like the FJ in the future.