The FJ Company production facility

Production is now humming along

February was a good month for us with 5 vehicles finished and in transit for delivery. All things considered, our new production process is humming along and we expect to deliver 4 to 6 vehicles per month during the rest of the year.

However, some of you are experiencing delays and longer production cycles than anticipated when you signed up for a custom Land Cruiser with The FJ Company, particularly if you signed up between the months of March through November 2017. For that, we are extremely sorry and fully understand the frustration that you have expressed to me or my colleagues.

With this blog post, we would like to share the reasons for those delays and hopefully give you some context and confidence that we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to deliver a world-class custom vehicle.

During the period between March-November 2017, we initiated incremental changes to our production process to ensure even higher quality and greater reliability from our vehicles. We pride ourselves on delivering only the best custom-built Land Cruisers to our customers, and these changes were necessary to deliver on that promise. Here are the key updates that were made during that period:

  1. We initiated a process whereby every chassis is put on a jig and adjusted back to factory specs. An example of that part of the process can be seen here.
  2. We now re-assemble all vehicles in their raw state (bare steel) prior to going to paint. In this part of the process, every component, including accessories (seats, lights, bumpers), are assembled to ensure that they are perfectly aligned with each other. After that, the vehicle is disassembled again and it goes into paint preparation. An example of that can be seen here.
  3. We overhauled our paint procedures to ensure concourse-level results in every vehicle we deliver.
  4. We moved away from restoring engine, transmission, axles, and brake components, to using new OEM equivalents. Some parts are no longer available from Toyota, so in those cases we use high-quality reproductions or remanufactured components.
  5. After rigorous testing, we upgraded the cooling system specs and the power steering specs for both the Classic and Sport models. All vehicles are now being delivered with these two upgrades and feedback from customers has been phenomenal.
  6. Our testing and quality control procedures also changed. Vehicles are now tested during two separate days for a total of 500 miles. Taking advantage of the location of our production facility, they are driven down to ocean level and back up to 8,000 feet – producing valuable data that we use to fine tune each build. In addition to that, we added a high pressure air and water test where we look for leaks and adjustments that may be required for the body.

While these are all positive and required to deliver the top-quality vehicle that both you and we expect from The FJ Company – simply put, we underestimated the impact that these changes would have in production, from training staff members to relationships with parts suppliers. We attempted to implement them in an incremental fashion, instead of all at once, and that incremental approach is what caused a lack of clarity with respect to communications with our clients and the timeline for their project – as one change effected the next.

With regards to pricing, during the past year, you may have noticed a progressive but significant increase in the price point for new builds. For example, our Classic model went from $55,000 Base Price, to $85,000 Base Price. These increases were tied to the changes mentioned above, and to increases in the prices of our raw materials. Rest assured that you will benefit from these changes irrespective of when you signed a contract, even those that were signed at the lower rate. In fact, we completely stopped deliveries during the last quarter of 2017. All vehicles that were in production at that time were “reset” to their starting point so that they could all benefit from these changes.

The best news is, as I mentioned in my introduction, deliveries are back up and we expect to continue delivering vehicles at the rate of 4 to 6 per month during the rest of the year. As of today (March 1, 2018) every production slot is sold for 2018 and we are accepting new orders for delivery in April 2019.

Again, on behalf of our entire team, our apologies for the delays and lack of clarity in our communications. All customers will be hearing from us with specifics on the timeline of your order over the next week. And rest assured, your vehicle will be the best custom Land Cruiser available in the market today. We can’t wait to get you behind the wheel.

Juan Diego Calle
President, The FJ Company

Post by Juan Diego Calle

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