Toyota, the world’s largest automaker in terms of sales, disclosed its plan to manufacture the new Land Cruiser and a smaller variant at two Japanese factories before exporting them to overseas destinations.
In an ambitious move, Toyota introduced its first hybrid version of the Land Cruiser, intending to regain prominence for this high-margin and legendary sports utility vehicle in North America and other key markets.
According to the company’s press release, the new Land Cruiser will be available as a hybrid in North America, while other markets like Europe or Australia will receive options for gasoline or diesel powertrains.
Toyota’s Chief Technology Officer, Hiroki Nakajima, stated the company’s commitment to fulfilling customer demands while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide emissions on a broader scale.
“We’ll offer vehicles that customers hope for,” Nakajima said.
Analysts, like Seiji Sugiura from the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, pointed out that Land Cruiser models and the Alphard van are sizable vehicles that boast higher profitability for Toyota. Sugiura also suggested that if these models were sold under the Lexus brand, their profitability could further increase.
The rollout of the new Land Cruiser is scheduled for the first half of 2024 in Japan and the spring of the same year in the United States. Toyota indicated that the suggested retail price for the U.S. market would start in the mid-$50,000 range.
Toyota’s strategy extends beyond hybrids, as they plan to offer gasoline and diesel-powered Land Cruiser versions in Western and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, a smaller Land Cruiser version is set to hit the Japanese market in the winter.
The Land Cruiser, alongside the luxury SUVs Lexus LX and GX, has already accumulated an impressive sales record of 11.3 million units as of the end of last month, showcasing the enduring popularity and appeal of these vehicles.
The introduction of the hybrid Land Cruiser signifies Toyota’s determination to stay at the forefront of eco-friendly automotive technology while meeting the demands of customers worldwide. The company aims to reignite the Land Cruiser’s market presence, leveraging its profitability and iconic status to strengthen its position in key markets and cater to evolving consumer preferences for sustainable vehicles.