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View Full Version : Automotive news predicts FJC as one-generation rig


Jacket
08-13-2008, 05:59 PM
Interesting, even if it is opinion more than fact:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-10015459-48.html

"On the "inefficient" side of the equation, truck-based SUVs are clearly out of favor at Toyota. While it was too late to cancel the 2010 4Runner, expect the FJ Cruiser to be a one-generation vehicle. The Sequoia may become little more than a niche offering. The tepid market for big pickups will slow development of variants to the Tundra full-sized pickup."

"FJ Cruiser: The swooning body-on-frame SUV segment means there isn't room for the FJ and the 4Runner, so the FJ is one-and-done."

Wouldn't bother me that much, although I would really like them to offer a 4Runner package that included a locker and some other legacy features.

MDH33
08-13-2008, 06:04 PM
I would be surprised if they axe it. Even with the decrease in SUV sales, it seems the FJC is doing pretty well. Seems like I see at least a dozen or more every day. They're becoming as common as Subarus around here.

Jacket
08-14-2008, 10:32 AM
Yea - its a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, and seems to be based more on opinion than facts from Toyota. That being said, Toyota does have an excess of overlapping SUV and Crossover platforms, and downsizing that a bit would make sense to me. Let's see - Highlander, 4Runner, FJC, 4 door Tacoma, Sequoia, Land Cruiser, plus RX, GX and LX models in the Lexus family.

Most of us know the distinction of the body on frame models that have a true 4wd platform, but for the average consumer, I think those lines are very blurry.

Red_Chili
08-14-2008, 10:54 AM
"FJ Cruiser: The swooning body-on-frame SUV segment means there isn't room for the FJ and the 4Runner, so the FJ is one-and-done."

Wouldn't bother me that much, although I would really like them to offer a 4Runner package that included a locker and some other legacy features.
The guy is huffing gas. FJC sales are decent, but 4Runner sales SUCK. The reason? Price/value. We may see the end of the 4Runner before we see the end of the FJC.

Should Toyota choose the opposite I might be looking for those crafty GM managers who sneaked onto the Toyota board of directors. Not impossible, metaphorically at least.

Red_Chili
08-14-2008, 02:24 PM
Toyota currently has no direct replacement for the first generation 4Runner. The 4Runner has strayed significantly from its roots (reliability aside). The FJC is the closest thing to the 1st gen, but there are some real limitations (rear storage, can't sleep in one, hard to see out of and cannot remove the top). Add to that the propensity of manufacturers to put more options, more size, and more price on a truck model, and they are going the wrong way.

You won't see a retro, downsized, simplified 4Runner. But I think they could sell the snot out of them if they introduced them as a new model. Especially if hybrid. Imagine a 4.0L, hybrid, 6-spd. removable top simple vehicle designed for true utility purposes. I've given up on smooth riding SAs, but what the heck, let's imagine that too. Jeep has, and diesel too.

I expect the FJC will go hybrid. But so far they seem to think the soccer moms prefer the cute utes. What people prefer is largely a function of marketing, what people think OTHER people prefer (even if this last dynamic is largely unconscious).

Toyota has lost their chutzpah. (IMHO) They don't take chances anymore. They follow and try to do it better, but that is not the same as innovating and putting your neck on the block.

Jacket
08-14-2008, 03:54 PM
Fixed it for ya :D



But I think they could sell the snot out of them if they introduced them as a new model. Especially if diesel hybrid. Imagine a 3.0L TD hybrid, 6-spd. removable top simple vehicle designed for true utility purposes.

Jacket
08-14-2008, 03:59 PM
But generally I agree with you. Starting with the 3rd gen 4Runner to present (arguably 2nd gen), they moved significantly further away from the utility wagon to a more soccer mom market.

But Toyota did that before the Highlander came along, and now the models compete with each other and I think the Highlander is winning with its better mileage, hybrid option, and IFS/IRS. So with the extreme popularity of the new Highlander model (I see them ALL OVER THE PLACE), Toyota has the option/opportunity to return the 4Runner closer to its roots, and let the Highlander grow as the suburban kid hauler.

MDH33
08-14-2008, 05:31 PM
I say Toyota should scrap both the 4Runner and the FJCruiser and bring us the 70 series. :thumb:

Uncle Ben
08-14-2008, 05:38 PM
I say Toyota should scrap both the 4Runner and the FJCruiser and bring us the 70 series. :thumb:

:cheers: Here here.....I would commit to buying one! Where do I sign? :confused:

Red_Chili
08-15-2008, 09:06 AM
On the same line where we buy our fantasy Off Road Edition DLX turbodiesel 4Runners. With invisible ink.

Based on the dinner we had with the Toyota 4Runner engineers a while back, Tokyo is not even considering downsizing the 4Runner or making it more affordable. "That is the FJ Cruiser market. We are modeling after the success of the Ford Explorer."

I hope their thinking changes with the diminishing success of the Ford Explorer. But Japanese conservatism rules the day I fear.

powderpig
08-15-2008, 09:12 AM
As much as I would like a 70 series as well, it would have to come up to california emissions standards(they lead the way) and have air bag support systems. So do not look for it to be imported any time soon. Cool series of trucks any how.

Nay
08-15-2008, 12:24 PM
Toyota should take notice that in a list of top 10 resale value vehicles that came out last week (Forbes I think), the only "truck" on the list was the Jeep Wrangler.

By adding the aftermarket features that people want into the base package along with the huge warranty for all that stuff, the Rubicon line is clearly holding value despite the anemic engine platform.

If they put that Daimler 3.0 turbo diesel into the jk platform it will sell through the roof. With a lifetime drivetrain warranty, the only problem is everybody will have one, and they'll probably all be red :hill:

What can be lost in the argument is factory capacity - Toyota had expanded its truck line to an extent its sales have been hurt comparable to GM's in the US. All of these companies are scrambling to convert capacity to production of more fuel efficient models. Hard to imagine the FJC high up on the list in the "preserve production capacity for trucks" list.

Red_Chili
08-15-2008, 12:33 PM
If they put that Daimler 3.0 turbo diesel into the jk platform it will sell through the roof. With a lifetime drivetrain warranty, the only problem is everybody will have one, and they'll probably all be red :hill:
Toyota could do this. They won't. If I were in the market for a new vehicle (ever again), I would buy one in a New York minute.

Red is fine. :D

I would probably void the warranty pretty quickly though.

leiniesred
08-15-2008, 02:55 PM
Interesting posts.

The shortest model production I can think of for Toyota is the VAN WAGON. (AKA the TOASTER, (I had one in college)) a 5 year run. Another edgy, weird looking Toyota. I can see the FJCruiser only running 5 years and dropping out.

For me, the FJCruiser failed to recapture the FJ essence. It was close, but too much money for too little UTILITY. Where is the PTO option?!

Nick F.
08-16-2008, 10:20 PM
looks like its true

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/08/15/toyota-supra-is-doa-fj-cruiser-wont-be-refreshed-more-hybrids/

Red_Chili
08-17-2008, 12:48 AM
Also, there's only room for one body-on-frame SUV from the automaker, so the 4Runner will be re-engineered for the 2010 model year, will debut in either New York or Chicago, and the FJ Cruiser will complete its lifecycle and be dropped in the next few years.

Wow.
Looks like Toyota is completing its trajectory right in the opposite direction from mine.
So in a few years all I will have to choose from will be a Lexus-lite suburban SUV with a high price tag and very few off-road upgrades I might perform. Or... ???
Nothing.
This, from the innovator of small truck well built 4x4s. The revolution is over.

subzali
08-17-2008, 10:04 AM
In 1997 Toyota stopped making a Land Cruiser I was interested in.

In 2002 Toyota stopped making a 4runner I was interested in.

In 2004 Toyota stopped making a Tacoma I was interested in.

The FJ Cruiser doesn't do it for me.

It still confounds me that my 17-year-old truck gets the same mpg as a new Matrix!

meh. I hope aftermarket support for our vehicles stays healthy and strong for a long time!

MDH33
08-17-2008, 10:11 AM
... Heck, if we weren't such tightwads and bought a new truck every once in a while they might still make utilitarian trucks for us....

It's not profitable to sell something that lasts. Much better to sell plastic throw away junk that needs to be replaced more often.

Uncle Ben
08-17-2008, 10:13 AM
it's Not profitable To Sell Something That Lasts. Much Better To Sell Plastic Throw Away Junk That Needs To Be Replaced More Often.

werd!

farnhamstj
08-17-2008, 10:52 AM
maybe if we purchased new Toyota's our opinions might count more. We(RS members) keep saying if they imported the 70 series we'd buy one. New ones have ifs, for all you ifs haters. And No, we wouldn't we'd wait till they were 10 years old or more and buy them used. I didn't purchase an FJ because it's too small for me and has no leater and cost 15k more than my 100. We're kind of the peanut galary. Not the driving force in new vehical purchases. Don't get me wrong. I like the FJ cruiser, and a new 4 door tacoma sure would be nice. But at 10 years old and 160k on the clock, I sure do like my 100. If money were not an issue, I'd get a GX470. If I didn't hang out with you guys I'd probbay get one of those, dare I say it, Jeep JK's. Good think I hang out with y'all.

Uncle Ben
08-17-2008, 11:29 AM
Toyota is also obviously planning something for those of us that are wanting more utility than sport. The FJC was a market test and the FJTeams sampled two markets, first they used the grill and went right after the trail uses to see if they could sell them on something new.....it appearantly worked! The following year they focused more on the sports/outdoor active 20/30 somethings.....that worked better! They found a niche! Jeep played the same game with different strategy and produced a very limited amount of 4 door Rubicons. The initial response was slow but when they caught on the backorder list was monstrous! Jeep now has the 4 doors in full production and there is still a waiting list! The market for a functional Sport/Ute is there! It has been confirmed and established. We will be seeing this type of affordable, functional Sport/Utes for a while till the trend wanes off. Without a doubt every auto maker in the US market will produce similar platforms which means for us die hard recycled vehicle fans the availability of modern and very cool drive train hardware will keep getting better! The loyalists of vintage OEM are the real losers in this market war as the old tractor like equipment just doesn't have a place in the modern manufacturing world.

Red_Chili
08-17-2008, 03:29 PM
So dramatic! So the millions of mini trucks out there now will stop being good?
The context was new vehicles. Not used ones like the one I drive. Which, someday, will no longer be supported. For instance, I got one of the very last quarter panels from Toyota.
Dramatic? Not so much.
Yeah, the revolution (innovation, creating markets, leading with new designs that work better than old designs, all in a small, truly utility, very capable, affordable, economical multipurpose vehicle like they did in '79 and again in '84) is over.

No money in it? Tell that to Jeep. I would buy a JK too. In new vehicles Toyota has nothing for me except an MR2. Oh. That one's gone too. OK, a Supra would... oh yeah. Guess I'd have to do a Scion something and bail on the off road thing.

leiniesred
08-17-2008, 09:02 PM
BRING BACK THE CRANK STARTER!
Electric start. Yep, that is when things started downhill.

Before the electric starter there wasn't much you couldn't fix with your basic farm tools. (Hammer and fencing pliers.)

First, the electric starter, shoot might as well put lights on the thing since we have a battery and such now. Just keep adding electric doo-dads from there and whaddya got? Chevy H3 with a backup camera and DVD players in the seats.

My next 4x4? Probably be a Jeep Rubicon of some type. The top comes off. It's that simple.

Red_Chili
08-17-2008, 11:39 PM
My next 4x4? Probably be a Jeep Rubicon of some type. The top comes off. It's that simple.
Yep. Pretty much. Somehow Jeep's lawyers seem quite comfortable with a removable top, while Toyota's lawyers get shivers in their sushi over it. Go figger.

Jacket
08-18-2008, 08:45 AM
BRING BACK THE CRANK STARTER!
Electric start. Yep, that is when things started downhill.



Good point. And let's not forget to dump our EFI's and return to the old reliable carburetor!

Red_Chili
08-18-2008, 08:51 AM
Hey, I've had vehicles where I wished for that! None currently however.

Jacket
08-18-2008, 09:01 AM
I was one of those guys who said I'd never buy a new car. I thought I was "beating the system" by buying used Toyotas (and a Blazer) with 30-70k miles, saving a few bucks, and running them into the 100's of thousands. With the exception of that Blazer, my strategy was sound.

But depending on how old (or nearly new) the truck is that you are shopping for, its no longer that big of an advantage to buy used of your shopping for Toyotas with < 50k miles, especially with all the incentives, fleet/internet pricing, and dealerships' need to move units. So I ended up in a new Tacoma for a price that I had found some 2002-2004 Tacomas for. No complaints here - I gained some more interior space and styling, better road manners, and improved travel comfort, and lost a manual T-case lever.

Obviously that's not true for classic rigs and trucks with 100k+ miles versus new, and in my case it was when gas was still around $2 something / gallon - not $4. Which is the same issue with Toyota's FJC strategy then versus now. The FJC and the marketing machine come from the early to mid 2000's, when gas was still a relatively cheap $2/gallon. When gas prices double in two years, you start to see a lot reacting on the part of the car makers. For a company as large as Toyota, its not simply about profitability, its more about growth. Publicly traded companies, especially those at or near the top of their market, have to continue to show growth projections to keep the shareholders happy.

Red_Chili
08-18-2008, 09:54 AM
That's what I am told (lawyers).
You can do the exo cage, or you can build supports a la CanBack, internally. The external cage/rack actually works great.

SteveH
08-19-2008, 09:46 AM
Many vehicles lost their removable roof in the '90s - Broncos, Blazers, etc. I suspect lawyers had something to do with it, but seriously - what percentage of owners ever removed the top? Less than 5% would be my guess.

Also, a few automotive pundits claimed the 4Runner was just a 'converted minitruck' (and not a serious entry into that market) and the bolt-on top just reinforced that idea. Finally, the extra engineering to make a vehicle rigid (in spite of a removable top) and also to quell the squeeks and rattles, means that companies are spending a large amount of money on something with (sometimes) a negative return.

Jeep pretty much owns the 'removable top truck' market, and so I think other companies don't see the point in trying to compete. I have owned a 1st gen and currently own a 3rd gen, and I agree that Toyota has trashed the 4Runner. Car and Driver (for what it's worth) rated it 6th of 6 in a test when it came out - claiming that it didn't entirely work as an offroad vehicle, but didn't offer what the competition offered either.

Steve

Hulk
08-20-2008, 01:52 AM
Hmmm. Maybe I should buy an FJC and store it for 20 years. The I can sell it to a Cruiserhead for $500k and retire. :D

zornff
08-21-2008, 09:43 AM
[QUOTE=Hulk;83 The I can sell it to a Cruiserhead for $500k and retire. :D[/QUOTE]
I think Cruiserhead is the key word here.
None of the new Toyotas are even close to the old school original cruisers, and obviously will never be remanufactured. Toyota, like all the other car companies are building plastic disposable vehicles that will not be around in 30 years.
The old school cruisers and 1st gen runners and trucks had durability, capability, and style IMO. Other car makers scrambled to copy and keep with Toyota. Now it seems the opposite is true. I think they have lost their identity, at least in the 4x4 market.
This is why most of us have old cruisers. Not because we can't afford new cars, but because we love our old capable cruisers and feel that they are worthy of the TLC and $ that it takes to keep them alive.
Don't get me wrong as i'm still a Toyota fan and will buy a Toyota diesel truck when they arrive. I just hope its soon and i hope my '07 cummins makes it 'til then.

theboomboom
09-11-2008, 12:44 PM
Looks like they'll at least make it through '09

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v627/theboomboom/09cruiser.jpg

http://www.toyota.com/byt/pub/init.do?zipCode=80122&seriesCategory=18&lang=en&x=8&y=10

Jacket
09-11-2008, 01:26 PM
Possibly with a trail worthy 4Runner to compete against:


4Runner: A new Trail Edition has a long list of outdoorsy extras, including a locking rear differential, Bilstein shocks, tubular step bars and roof rack, and a TomTom detachable navigation system.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/what_s_new_for_2009_car_news/browse_by_make/toyota_car_news


Edit: Yup - the "Trail Edition" 4Runner is on the Toyota website, with RR diff lock, ATRAC, and of course, Bluetooth! What has it been - 10 years or so since the last 4Runner with factory locker?

Red_Chili
09-11-2008, 02:43 PM
WHAT?!?
You mean they actually READ my EMAIL???!??

Squishy!
09-11-2008, 03:08 PM
Word around Toyota is it will be axed. I've heard this before, but not from the news.

Red_Chili
09-11-2008, 03:11 PM
Uh-oh. They figured out who wrote the email, and that's that.




:lmao:

Uncle Ben
09-11-2008, 03:40 PM
Possibly with a trail worthy 4Runner to compete against:



http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/what_s_new_for_2009_car_news/browse_by_make/toyota_car_news


Edit: Yup - the "Trail Edition" 4Runner is on the Toyota website, with RR diff lock, ATRAC, and of course, Bluetooth! What has it been - 10 years or so since the last 4Runner with factory locker?


WOW! About time a 4 runner could be used on dirt! :eek: :bolt: :p:

Caribou Sandstorm
09-11-2008, 04:37 PM
I am late to the party but I will definately buy the 4x4 4runner with atrac and rear lockers... That is sweet...fits more rug rats too...

I can't wait for a new model so the focus is off us crusierheads, it is like being a freshman in college...well, not quite that much fun...

I might even be able to see over the hood in a 4runner vs the FJC, that was a killer on the Rubi, we almost lost Robbie a few times while spotting me....haha...

Nay
09-11-2008, 09:51 PM
I am late to the party but I will definately buy the 4x4 4runner with atrac and rear lockers...

You'll need that stuff given the station wagon clearance. At least you can dial it in and pop a curb for an good spot on the 4th of July now.

If you need more room, that's what 80's are for, and they're cheap now. You can't beat sliding 3rd row windows for trail and mall access for an elementary school pit crew :D

Red_Chili
09-12-2008, 08:06 AM
Unless you want to fit where only a 4Runner will go in the woods. Or in the parking lot. Or are simply averse to large vehicles. And their mileage.

Last I heard, stock 80s also have station wagon clearance. There's parts for that.

Bighead
09-12-2008, 10:05 AM
I might even be able to see over the hood in a 4runner vs the FJC, that was a killer on the Rubi, we almost lost Robbie a few times while spotting me....haha...

Unless the new 4Runner looks like this... :hill:

http://images.trucktrend.com/autoshows/coverage/163_2007_sema_01z+toyota_FJ_runner_by_MV_designs_of_Santa_Ana+front_view.jpg

Red_Chili
09-12-2008, 10:13 AM
4Crawler's seat lift kit might help with that...

Nay
09-12-2008, 11:03 AM
Unless you want to fit where only a 4Runner will go in the woods.

That's what Durabak and tube are for :hill:

Caribou Sandstorm
09-12-2008, 11:26 AM
That FJ Runner looks pretty cool!!