Toyota has quietly announced that the FJ Cruiser will be dropped in June 2014 according to many sources. The cult-like masses of fans have to be surely disappointed in this news, however, is the first in a series of changes related to the 2016 CAFE regulations? Will more consolidations be coming?
Ever since its introduction the FJ Cruiser has had a niche market presence. Many off-road fans loved the vehicle’s ruggedness and power train. But, sales have plummeted year after year as the new buyers weren’t interested. Frankly, it isn’t that hard to see why. The FJ has had very little changes between model years, poor fuel economy and a lack of “new” excitement around the product.
This information comes from Toyota’s fleet website which had this short post: “FJ Cruiser will be discontinued at the end of 14MY (model year).” *Editor’s note: could not find this statement on the site. May have been taken down.
Typically a lack of new changes and slowing sales spells the end for product lines and the FJ is no exception. Also, potentially playing a large factor, is the impending 2016 CAFE requirements that essentially doomed this product. No matter how Toyota must have looked at it, they would have had to gut the FJ to make the fuel economy standards. This brings up an interesting point though, what is the next? The 4Runner seems a likely target.
With the consolidation of products, it seems there is a silver lining. Toyota could be setting itself up to provide more support to its existing product lines. We already know that Toyota is considering moving production of the Tacoma to Mexico and focus more attention on the Tundra. This makes sense from a business standpoint (more profit) and from a CAFE standpoint since the Tundra is better apt to meet the higher standards.
The truth is that Toyota is making some interesting news around its models including discontinuing the Tacoma TRD T|X Baja and X-Runner for 2014. Less options in the slow compact truck market, killing off low-volume SUVs and small updates to the Tundra are sure to fan critics assumption that Toyota is low on cash. While this statement seems absurd, it is probably more likely a smart business decision.
What do you think? Is killing the FJ a smart move?
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