Toyota to Kill off the Scion Brand
I own and love an ’08 Scion xB, so when I saw the news this morning, I was jumping around from site to site to see what was happening. Toyota was going to kill off Scion? As it turns out, my car model was discontinued last year sometime, so apparently I’m really behind.
After almost 13 years, Toyota is discontinuing their North America brand, Scion. The Scion lineup, including the FR-S, will be merged into Toyota starting August of 2016, with the exception of the tC, which will have a final release series and see an end to its production.
Scion was introduced back in 2003 to target younger American drivers and had great success with the introduction of models such as the xB and tC. The average age of a Scion owner is the lowest in the industry at 36 years old, and the tC having the lowest average buyer age of 29 years old. Scion has sold over a million vehicles since 2003, but has seen a decline over the past few years. The introduction of the FR-S – a sports car collaboration between Toyota and Subaru – increased sales for Scion, but has not been enough to outweigh the diminished sales of their other models.
Despite the decline in sales, Toyota has benefited greatly from Scion citing over 70 percent of vehicle purchases were new customers to Toyota. The Scion team is apparently being relocated to positions in Toyota, so hopefully we’ll still see barebones modular cars under the new Toyota branding. Until then, I’ll be holding onto my ’08 xB until it dies.
“This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota. Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network,” said Jim Lentz, founding vice president of Scion and now CEO, Toyota Motor North America. “I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. I’m very proud because that’s exactly what we have accomplished.
“We could not have achieved the success we have had without the incredible support of Scion’s customers, dealers and team members, so supporting them throughout this transition process will be one of our top priorities,” said Lentz.
As a Redditor wrote, “Scion-ara.”