Toyota has made it official: the Scion brand is dead.
Scion will now transition back into the Toyota brand, which means that the FR-S, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback will be badged as Toyotas beginning in August of 2016. Scion’s other vehicle, the tC coupe, will get one last release series special edition before it is discontinued in August of 2016.
Scion became its own brand in 2003 and was an attempt by Toyota to attract younger customers. The brand never really caught on, with slow sales, long product droughts and many reports claiming that average buyers were in their late 40s.
“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.”
According to the brand, the decision to kill off Scion is driven by “today’s younger buyers,” who want fun-to-drive vehicles which are practical and reliable, a combination of traits that executives believe Toyota can deliver.
Sales began to tumble in 2007 at Scion and things never quite turned around. Even the FR-S sports car, regarded as a return to the cheap, lightweight classic sports cars was not enough to save the brand, with strong sales initially that rapidly tapered off.
Scion’s 22 person team will be offered new jobs within Toyota Motor Sales, USA.
Scion owners will continue to visit Toyota dealerships to have their cars serviced.