The Toyota Jeep BJ was originally developed for use by the National Police Reserve (today's Japan Ground Self-Defense Force) in 1951.
The second-generation Land Cruiser, the so-called 20 Series, was released in November 1955, with the external appearance suitably redesigned for civilian use.
The third-generation Land Cruiser, commonly known as the 40 Series, was placed on the market in August 1960. The vehicle won high acclaim as a reliable cross-country vehicle, making the Land Cruiser brand renowned across the globe.
The Land Cruiser FJ55 station wagon was introduced in August 1967, featuring a 2,700 mm wheelbase chassis and a newly designed body, and replacing the FJ45V 4-door van with a wheelbase of 2,650 mm.
The 60 Series was released in August 1980 as the successor to the 55 Series. While the export model was a station wagon, the domestic model was classified as a van (commercial-use vehicle).
In November 1984, the Land Cruiser 70 Series was launched as the successor to the 40 Series.
The Land Cruiser was increasingly used for leisure, and this led to a heightened focus on comfort and style, in addition to mobility.
This model succeeded the 60 Series in October 1989, adding an 8-seater station wagon to the lineup.
In April 1990, long-wheelbase 5-door versions were added to the Land Cruiser 70 wagon and van, which had previously consisted solely of short-wheelbase 3-door versions.
With the second-generation model released in May 1996, the Land Cruiser Prado line steered toward a more passenger-oriented 4-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle.
The Land Cruiser 100 was released in January 1998 as the successor to the Land Cruiser 80.
The third-generation Land Cruiser Prado was released in October 2002. The newly designed high rigidity frame delivered enhanced maneuverability, vehicle stability, and quietness.
Sales of the Land Cruiser 70 Series concluded in Japan in 2004. Overseas, however, the car's drivability and reliability in harsh usage environments remained highly regarded and, as such, the 70 Series continued to be produced as an overseas-only model.
The Land Cruiser 200 Series was launched in September 2007 as the successor to the 100 Series, expanding the length and width by 60 mm and 30 mm, respectively.
The fourth-generation Land Cruiser Prado was launched in September 2009. While the Prado had been sharing the chassis with the Hilux Surf since May 1996, the two lines finally merged as the fourth-generation Prado.
The Land Cruiser 70, first launched in Japan in 1984, has heavy duty specifications adapted for off-road driving. In addition to the four-door van model previously available, for the first time in Japan, in 2014, a double-cab pickup truck was added to the lineup.