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Toyota cans FJ Cruiser

Cruising out: The FJ Cruiser has an unbroken bloodline back through more than 50 years of Toyota all-terrain car heritage, but another model will have to take it from here.

FJ cruises off the Australian Toyota line-up after five years of surprising sales

12 May 2016

TOYOTA will put its FJ Cruiser retro-look all-terrain vehicle out to pasture in August after five years of “considerably higher than originally expected” sales and more than 11,000 Australian deliveries.

The announcement comes as little surprise, as the Japanese car-maker discontinued the model in its key United States market in 2014 when it failed to meet updated North American emissions and fuel economy standards.

Since that announcement, Toyota has made no commitment to replacing the large SUV, prompting speculation that other significant markets, including the Middle East and Australia, would follow suit.

In Australia, Toyota's FJ sold an average of 180 a month, which was more here than forecast.

Sales peaked six months after its March 2011 launch with 503 registrations in October that year. To the end of April this year, 410 FJ Cruisers had found homes in Australia.

Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb said the model had served the brand well and it would be fondly remembered.

“The FJ rides into the sunset as a vehicle renowned for its ability to traverse rugged outback trails while offering plenty of utility for all types of activities and being equally well-suited for everyday driving,” he said.

“It will leave lasting memories as one of the most iconic vehicles in Toyota's rich SUV history, helping to bring renewed energy to the Toyota brand.” The FJ's unmistakable styling was a modern interpretation of the company's 1960 FJ40 LandCruiser.

Other retro examples from other manufacturers include the Fiat 500, Volkswagen Beetle and Mini, while the 2005 Ford GT supercar was a spitting image of the 1960s GT40.

Its aesthetics may have been unlike anything else on the road, but under its retro exterior, the FJ Cruiser was heavily related to 2003-2009 Prado, which gave the model serious off-road ability and appeal among 4WD enthusiasts.

The FJ Cruiser will remain on sale for $46,990 before on-road costs until production at the Toyota-owned Hino factory in Japan ceases in August this year.

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