Toyota Motor Corp unveiled the first hybrid version of its iconic Land Cruiser on Wednesday in an effort to boost declining demand for its big-name and high-margin SUV, Land Cruiser, in North America.
The world’s largest automaker by sales said it will manufacture the new model of the 1951-born brand, as well as a smaller, newly announced variant, at two plants in Japan and transport them internationally from there.
Toyota stated in a news statement that the new model will be sold as a hybrid in North America. Toyota has stated that the new Land Cruiser will be available in additional markets, such as Europe and Australia, with either a petrol or diesel motor.
Toyota’s chief technology officer, Hiroki Nakajima, told Reuters that the business will meet customer demands while reducing carbon dioxide emissions overall.
“We’ll offer vehicles that customers hope for,” he stated.
Land Cruiser vehicles are relatively large cars with better profitability for Toyota, as are several other models such as the Alphard van, according to Seiji Sugiura, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.
“Land Cruisers and Alphards have high profitability even under the Toyota brand,” Sugiura said, adding that if models are marketed under the Lexus brand, profits will increase much more.
Toyota said the new Land Cruiser will be available in Japan in the first half of 2024 and in the United States in the spring of that year, with suggested retail pricing starting in the mid-$50,000 range.
Toyota stated that the new Land Cruiser will be available in petrol and diesel models in areas such as Western and Eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East, and that a smaller Land Cruiser version will be available in Japan in the winter.
Toyota reported that the Land Cruiser, as well as the Lexus LX and GX premium SUVs, had sold 11.3 million vehicles as of the end of last month.