FJ Cruiser rides into the sunset
Abu Dhabi - The FJ Cruiser has been discontinued in North America, but everywhere else production continued with new models every year.
Published: Sat 4 Jun 2016, 8:33 PM
Toyota FJ Cruiser is no more. Or is it? Speculations about the iconic 4x4 vehicle being axed have been going on for years, but this past May motoring publications worldwide claimed the news to be confirmed by a Toyota sales representative.
"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," stated Tony Cramb, Toyota Australia's executive director of sales and marketing.
"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," he also said a couple of weeks ago.
The FJ Cruiser has been discontinued in North America - USA and Canada - in 2014 due to poor sales, but everywhere else, including its hot markets in the Middle East and Australia, production continued with new models every year.
Despite the news revealed by Toyota Australia that FJ production will stop from August this year worldwide, the company's headquarters in Japan keeps silent and the representative in the UAE, told Khaleej Times it is not true. "The FJ Cruiser will not be discontinued in our market," said Rabih Habayeb, public relations manager at Al Futtaim Motors, which represents Toyota in the UAE.
"It is too early to talk about a 2017 model, but sales of 2016 FJ Cruiser go on in all our showrooms and there are no plans to discontinue them," he stressed.
Ali Salman, an Emirati expert off-roader bought a 2015 FJ Cruiser specifically for driving it off-road. "The reason I selected the FJ Cruiser is its capability to off-road throughout the year. It is a reliable car with less breakdown or maintenance, it is lightweight, which is necessary for advanced level of off-roading, it has sufficient cabin and storage space, has a big fuel tank that could last for 1000 kilometres and has a unique shape similar to the FJ40," said Ali.
By now, he drove his FJ in all desert terrains of the UAE, from small, technical dunes to very high ones, and he remains very impressed with the car's capabilities.
"The FJ is a really popular car in the UAE with all nationalities, ages and genders. I believe production of the FJ Cruiser should not stop unless it is replaced with a similar car from Toyota," Ali told Khaleej Times.
Discontinuing production of the FJ Cruiser would leave most owners here disappointed, but it would only increase the second hand market. Already the FJ has one of the highest re-sale values for second-hand cars in the UAE market.