So we all got excited when we first got wind of Toyota Motor Philippines' plan to bring in the FJ Cruiser. Then we all cheered when the Japanese carmaker finally and officially confirmed it just very recently. And of course we all jumped for joy when TMP released the FJ Cruiser's incredibly competitive selling price of P1.798 million.
Toyota is expected to begin selling the retro-styled SUV in our market by October.
But now comes this report from an American automotive blog that Toyota could be retiring the FJ Cruiser by next year. "Toyota discontinuing FJ Cruiser after 2014 model year," screams the headline of the Autoblog scoop. Keep in mind that this seven-year-old SUV was created primarily for the US market, so this buzz certainly bears some weight.
"According to the manufacturer's own fleet website, the rugged FJ will be discontinued after the 2014 model year, with the company's final orders due in June of next year," says the report.
The fleet website being referred to indeed shows the availability of every single model that Toyota sells in the US. If you check the screenshot below, you'll see that the space for comments next to the FJ Cruiser is blank, so we don't know exactly what Autoblog saw that made it conclude that the SUV is soon bowing out. Was there originally a comment in said space which perhaps Toyota took down after the report came out? Or are there really no comments provided for exiting models? Or is Toyota ceasing FJ Cruiser sales only in North America? Who knows?
We can't ask anyone from TMP yet as today is a holiday. But even if the report is true, we imagine it would be very difficult for the company to confirm it, considering the forthcoming launch of the FJ Cruiser in the Philippines.
And if true, the report could have two possible effects on interested buyers: Either it will discourage them from purchasing a soon-to-be-axed vehicle model for fear of parts-supply issues, or it will all the more spur them to get a car that's bound to be a collector's item after the last unit rolls off the assembly line.
What do you think?
Photo by Vernon B. Sarne