AUSTRALIANS have purchased more Toyota Land Cruisers than any other nation.
According to statistics released by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan, Australians account for 10 per cent of all Land Cruisers sold since the famous nameplate was born back in 1954.
In June 1954, Toyota’s Hanji Umehara renamed the BJ – a petrol-powered, water-cooled, inline-six – to the Land Cruiser. In 1958, Sir Leslie Thiess imported the first Land Cruiser 20 Series to Australia, and 13 Cruisers were then put to work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
The all-times sales record excludes Prado wagons that bear the Land Cruiser nomenclature, of which more than 260,000 have been sold in Australia.
On a global scale, almost seven million Land Cruisers have been sold.
Despite annual sales of the Land Cruiser now being headed by the United Arab Emirates, Australia maintained an 11.9 per cent share of global sales in 2016.
Tony Cramb, Toyota Australia’s executive director of sales and marketing, explained how the Land Cruiser is now a vehicle capable of performing double duties as both a work and family vehicle.
“Even the most rugged Land Cruiser 70 Series variant is now equipped with extensive safety features in addition to the traditional quality, durability and reliability that has distinguished the brand over six decades,” he said.
“[The] Land Cruiser is also about luxury, with the top-of-the-line 200 Series Sahara featuring four cameras to assist with manoeuvres from challenging off-road driving to negotiating tight parking spots in our concrete jungles.”