New figures from Toyota this week show that its FJ Cruiser 4WD is selling twice as fast in Australia as the carmaker first predicted.
Almost 6000 FJ Cruisers have been sold here in the past two years, with 3000 examples sold in 2012.
Initial expectations had the FJ Cruiser selling 100 examples per month in Australia, but, in reality, around 220 are finding homes each month.
And it could be another good year for the FJ Cruiser, with sales in the first four months of 2013 up 10.6 percent compared to the same time last year.
Toyota Australia’s Tony Cramb believes the FJ Cruiser is building a reputation as a capable off-roader.
“We believed the modern FJ would find willing buyers in Australia because it is a rugged, dependable vehicle that can travel to, and return from, any extreme environment,” Mr Cramb said.
“At the same time, we wondered how today’s motorists would respond to some of the exterior features inspired by the original LandCruiser FJ40 produced between 1960 and 1984.”
TMR spoke to Toyota Australia’s Mike Breen, who explained why it is unlikely to happen.
“The FJ was originally designed specifically to meet the needs of the North American market, there were no plans for the vehicle to be sold outside of this market," Mr Breen said.
“Fortunately, a few years ago, TMC made the decision to introduce the vehicle in right-hand-drive form for the Japanese market, which provided us with the opportunity to take the vehicle.”
“As there is little or no demand for a diesel variant in either the North American or Japanese market, the relatively small volumes we take does not justify homologation of a diesel for our market.”
Toyota recently updated the FJ Cruiser, adding a second fuel tank to boost total capacity to 159 litres as well as adding the CRAWL off-road cruise control system.
The price for the FJ Cruiser increased this year to $47,990 (plus on-roads).