For Sale By:Private Seller
Sub Model: BJ70 FJ40 BJ45
Model: Land Cruiser
Exterior Color: Green
Interior Color: Gray
Drive Type: AWD
Key Biscayne, Florida, United States
The deaths of the Ford Crown Victoria and the Lincoln Town Car have meant overhauls of three high-profile American fleets: police, taxi and livery car. Just as police fleets are more open to considering other options and a Nissan van is the new face of the NYC taxi, livery car companies are looking at replacements for the Town Car beyond The Blue Oval. Ford, via Lincoln, has made an MKT Town Car (pictured), but an article in the Detroit News claims "it has failed to win over most of the big limousine companies." The upstarts trying to move in include livery and limo editions of the Cadillac XTS, and livery specifications of the Toyota Avalon and Chrysler 300.
Each of those challengers, however, faces challenges. The Town Car was a workhorse, American, rear-wheel-drive sedan with plenty of rear legroom. Cadillac has been in the livery space before but with decontented models that were about selling the brand, not its luxury. It is taking the opposite approach with the XTS, pointing out that its livery edition is "contented in the upper half of the XTS range." Still, the CEO of Michigan's largest livery company says "it's quite a bit smaller than what we're used to," and he also prefers rear-wheel drive.
The Chrysler 300 is rear-wheel drive, and American, which matters to some companies, but Chrysler hasn't yet revealed the livery package for it. The livery Avalon marks Toyota's first time getting into that business in the US, a natural step after having done so well with taxi clients and with the Town Car out of the way. Still, the livery client is a different to taxi buyers, so the Avalon could face other soft-touch hurdles.
Now, hold on. This recall isn't quite as serious as it sounds. Yes, Toyota is recalling 11,489 FJ Cruiser models from the 2007 to 2013 model years, and yes, it's because the vehicles, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states, "fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, 'Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.'" But read the fine print and you'll see the catch: This recall is only for vehicles fitted with the automaker's auxiliary lighting kit that can be mounted to the front bumper.
Basically, the auxiliary lamp assemblies use 55-watt bulbs, and when these are turned on in conjunction with the upper beam headlamps, it's a pretty blinding sight. NHTSA states that excessively bright lights can blind other drivers, increasing the risk for a crash.
To remedy the situation, Toyota will replace the 55-watt bulbs with cooler 35-watt units. The recall is expected to begin later this month. Scroll down for the full details in the NHTSA report.
Toyota is the top-selling automaker in the world. Again. Still. With total reported sales, including those from subsidiaries, of 9.98 million in 2013, Toyota's performance was enough to outpace rival General Motors by around 270,000 vehicles. That's a 2.4-percent gain over 2012, and it makes Toyota the top-seller two years in a row. Still, the gap between the top three is shrinking - Toyota held a 460,000-unit lead in 2012.
GM sold 9.71 million vehicles last year, a four-percent increase, coming in second place ahead of Volkswagen, which sold around 9.5 million. According to Bloomberg, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said his company managed to win the sales race while also remaining more profitable than GM or VW.
It's going to be another interesting year in 2014 as the three behemoth automakers vie for the title of World's Largest. Toyota has predicted that it will increase sales in 2014 to 10.32 million - which would make Toyota the first automaker ever to surpass 10 million global sales - though General Motors and VW are expected to again fight for the lead in the massive Chinese market. Stay tuned.