An regular media consumers are likely familiar with the idea of the "Friday news dump." If you want to bury bad news, release the information around 4:58 PM on a Friday; at that point, both writers/editors and readers/viewers have largely checked out for the weekend, and by Monday, when they pay attention again, it'll be old news.
Toyota, however took that principle to the next level with its latest announcement regarding the future of the iconic Land Cruiser in the United States.
In a statement to Car and Driver, the company confirmed reports that 2021 will be the final year for the Land Cruiser in the United States — but hid it away by a releasing said statement on Christmas Eve. If you were getting holly and jolly by that point, you no doubt missed the news, perhaps as Toyota intended.
Well, at least Toyota finally gave us a definitive statement on the off-roading icon's future, right? Not really. Here's the statement:
"The Toyota Land Cruiser has been a legendary name for more than 60 years. While it will be discontinued in the United States after the 2021 model year, we remain committed to the large SUV segment and will continue to explore future products that celebrate the Land Cruiser’s rich off-road history. We encourage loyal enthusiasts and intrepid adventurers to stay tuned for future developments."
Let's break that down real quick. The statement confirms there won't be a vehicle called the "Land Cruiser" sold in the United States for the 2022 model year. This, of course, suggests those rumors claiming the 300-Series will finally debut in 2021 are accurate; after all, if the 200-Series were staying in production, why not keep selling it here considering how much profit the company makes on each one?
But then, as soon as it's said that, Toyota says they aren't abandoning large SUVs — and suggests they aren't ruling out using the Land Cruiser branding in the future. Toyota then urges Land Cruiser fans to "stay tuned," suggesting something is on the horizon, however distant that might be.
What could that mean? Well, off the top of our Land Cruiser-obsessed heads, we can think of any of (but not limited to) the following things.
- The new 300-Series Land Cruiser is coming to America, but has been pushed back to 2022 at the earliest
- The new 300-Series is coming here...but will only be sold as a Lexus LX
- Toyota will "continue to explore" until the new 4Runner comes out with a fancier / more capable version called the Land Cruiser
- The Highlander (perhaps the "Grand Highlander") will get an "adventurous" off-roading package that uses the fabled name
One thing's for sure, though: expect that Land Cruiser rumor mill to keep on churning.