Toyota puts the 70 Series on ice

Riley Riley

News that Toyota has put the Land Cruiser 70 Series on ice is sure to send shock waves through the off road community in the Top End of Australia.

As we travel through the Kimberleys in Western Australia, en route from Broome to Darwin, it’s amazing just what a stranglehold Toyota still has on this market.

It’s dominated by Toyota 70 Series, Hilux, 200 Series and Prado, with the barebones 70 Series workhorse the undisputed king of the road.

The darling of the suburbs, the Ford Ranger, barely gets a look-in.

You hardly see a Land Rover and Jeeps are as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth.

When I asked a local mechanic about the situation, he said it was because there was just no support for other brands if anything went wrong.

Toyota Australia announced this week it had been forced to “pause” orders for the 70 Series due to supply and demand factors.

It said lack of supply had resulted in extended wait times for customers.

Toyota’s Sean Hanley said available supply had been impacted by ongoing production disruptions that were being experienced by the entire automotive industry.

At the same time, the 70 Series’ popularity apparently remains at an historic high.

Mr Hanley said Toyota had made this decision amid an evolving situation.

“The Toyota team has been working diligently to deliver a record number of vehicles with extraordinary support from our parent company,” he said.

“At the same time, strong demand and industry-wide supply challenges globally mean we simply cannot fulfil orders more quickly.

“Therefore, we have decided to pause new customer orders for the LandCruiser 70 Series.”

He said dealers will be in direct contact with customers about wait times for individual existing orders over the coming months.

“We are monitoring the global supply situation closely and will continue to make decisions based on the best interests of our customers and dealers,” he said.

“I understand this news will be disappointing and want to sincerely apologise to our customers and assure them we will continue to provide updates as further information becomes available.”

The news will no doubt be of concern to the mining industry and such outfits as the El Questro wilderness park where we have been enjoying some of the magnificent scenery.

El Questro relies heavily on vehicles like the 70 Series.

In fact, we’ve just returned from a trek out to one of the amazing gorges that dot the park aboard the back of a specially outfitted 70 Series, crossing water that lapped at out feet.

In the carpark sits our rented Prado which hasn’t missed a beat so far (fingers crossed).

There has been much speculation about the future of the 70 Series.

Could it be that Toyota will use current supply problems to put an end to its aging, diesel-powered dinosaur?

You never know . . .


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