Thursday, 4 February 2016

Scion Is Dead, Long Live Toyota

Toyota has announced Wednesday that Scion will “transition to Toyota,” effectively killing off the youth brand started in 2002. Its first vehicles went on sale in California in 2003, and included the xA hatchback and xB wagon.

According to a release from Toyota, Scion “is now transitioning back to the Toyota brand” and most Scion models well be rebranded as Toyotas starting August 2016 for the 2017 model year, including the forthcoming C-HR. The Scion tC will be discontinued as of August 2016.

“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.

Scion hit its sales peak way back in 2006 with 173,000 cars sold; last year it moved just 56,000.


According to Toyota, the average age of a Scion buyer is 36, and the Scion tC has the lowest-average age buyer in the industry at 29. New models — the iA and iM — claim 70 percent of their buyers as being first-time new car purchasers.

A total of 1,004 Scion dealers will be affected, though most of those locations are dual-brand stores that also sell Toyotas. The company sold a total of 1,092,675 cars under the Scion marque from 2003 to the end of 2015.

Scion has consistently been the youngest brand in the auto industry with an average age of 36 years old. At 29, the tC sports coupe has the lowest-average age buyer in the industry. The most recent additions to the line-up, the iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback, are bringing in new buyers with 70 percent being first-time new car purchasers. Additionally, more than 50 percent of iM and iA buyers are under 35 years old. 

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