Scion brand killed off by Toyota
Toyota has announced that it will phase out the Scion brand, starting in the second half of this year.
In a statement released overnight, Toyota said that Scion would soon be “transitioning back to the Toyota brand”. Hitting an upbeat tone, the company noted that 70 percent of its customers were new to Toyota, while 50 percent were aged under 35.
The Scion brand was established in 2003 and was tasked with bringing in younger buyers into the Toyota fold in the United States. The brand was introduced in 2010 to Canada, but was not rolled out to any other markets.
Above: First-generation Scion xB.
Toyota claims that “Scion achieved its goals of developing unique products and processes”, with the latter including no haggle pricing, and mono-spec vehicles with a high degree of personalisation. That said many of Scion’s products were federalised and rebranded Toyota models.
Its initial lineup of models include the xA, sold as the Toyota Ist in Japan and Asia, and the xB, a Toyota bB with enlarged bumpers. The second generation of the xB was developed with the US mind, and was sold in Japan as the Corolla Rumion and in Australia as the Toyota Rukus.
Above: First-generation Scion tC.
Scion as a brand will begin its fade to black in August when 2017 model year vehicles start entering dealerships.
Vehicles to be axed as part of Scion’s demise include the tC, a front-wheel drive coupe, and, likely, the xB. The other vehicles in the current lineup, the iA (a rebadged and re-nosed Mazda 2 sedan), the iM (the Corolla/Auris five-door hatch), and the FR-S (our Toyota 86) carry over into the 2017 Toyota range.
At last year’s Los Angeles auto show, Scion announced that the corporation’s sub-RAV4 crossover, the C-HR, will be sold by the youth brand in the USA. Today’s shuttering of Scion means that the C-HR will be marketed as a Toyota across the globe.
Above: Scion iA.
Last year, the company sold just 56,167 cars. Scion’s best year was 2006, when it sold 173,034 vehicles. In total, until the end of 2015, just over 1.1 million Scion-branded cars were sold in the US and Canada.
Even at its peak, the the youth brand was dwarfed by its sister brands. In 2015, Toyota sold just shy of 2.1 million vehicles in the US, while 344,601 Lexus cars also found new homes there.