SUVs are making a comeback here


Sport utility vehicles are on the verge of a revival in Japan, with Toyota Motor Corp. and other domestic automakers promoting them as a key engine of growth.

One of the most popular SUVs in the country is a crossover type designed for use on bad roads and city roads. It is catching on even among those who prefer street driving. Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. launched SUVs in December.

Automakers have become strong enough to develop unique vehicles on top of their mainstay offerings, thanks to higher earnings driven by the yen’s decline, a senior official at a major automaker said. Also behind the push to promote the 1990s throwbacks is their desire to boost sales overseas. The local SUV market is led by Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.