At the World of Toyota, ongoing until August 18, 2013 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City, one section is devoted to current passenger car and commercial vehicle offerings. Sitting pretty on top of a stand is a bright blue FJ Cruiser. The two-plus-two door SUV, which has been popular as a gray import vehicle, officially joins Toyota Philippines’ lineup.
Key to its introduction is the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). You may recall that JPEPA, ratified in 2008, eliminated the 30 percent import duties for Japanese cars with engine displacement of 3.0 liters and above. The FJ Cruiser packs a 4.0-liter V6, good for 260hp. With the more favorable tax conditions, Toyota can price the SUV to beat the gray market. Target price is reportedly below P2 million, with the supply carefully controlled to avoid eating into the sales of Toyota’s similarly-priced offerings, such as the Fortuner.
The retro-styled FJ Cruiser is deep into its model cycle, having debuted in 2005 at the North American International Auto Show. Designed for the American market, it slowly made its way to other markets such as Japan, where it launched in late 2010, and Australia, where the car was officially introduced in 2011.
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