Kurt Verlin
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Toyota Doesn’t Want Insurgents to Get Their Hands on New Land Cruiser

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Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series
Photo: Toyota

Toyota doesn’t want future owners of the new Land Cruiser 300 to sell the SUV in markets where it would “violate foreign exchange law” and “threaten global security.”

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Last week, Creative311 magazine reported that Toyota was restricting the resale of its new Land Cruiser 300 SUV. Specifically, individuals signing up for a pre-order were required to pledge they wanted to buy it for themselves. On Monday, the automaker released a statement clarifying its motive, which was published on Mag-X, a Japanese site.

“Land Cruiser is particularly popular overseas, and we are concerned about the situation where vehicles immediately after launch will flow from Japan to overseas and will be exported to specific areas where security is regulated,” the statement reads.

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Though it is no longer being sold in the United States, the rugged SUV’s legendary dependability has made it quite popular in other parts of the world, including among insurgents and terrorist groups (and those combating them). In fact, the Land Cruiser and Toyota Hilux are so common among those groups that in 2015, the United States government investigated how ISIS got its hands on so many Toyota vehicles. At the time, the automaker insisted that it was “impossible…to completely control indirect or illegal channels through which our vehicles could be misappropriated.”

Still, Toyota is clearly uncomfortable with the situation and is thus asking those signing up for the LC300 to confirm they are not acquiring it for resale purposes or export. You can read between the lines. Members of terrorist groups are rarely seen at the wheel of the very latest model, but it’s been known to happen sometimes. And while insurgents’ fondness for Land Cruisers can be interpreted as a testament to their ruggedness and reliability, it’s not exactly the kind of advertisement any multinational corporation wants to make.