Toyota kills struggling Scion brand
Toyota has confirmed plans to kill its Scion brand, introduced in 2003 as an experiment to attract younger customers.
The Japanese automaker claims Scion has “achieved its goals” of developing unique products and wooing younger buyers. With collective sales surpassing a million units, 70 percent of Scions were purchased by customers new to Toyota and half of buyers were under 35 years old.
The marque may have succeeded in fulfilling its youthful focus, however it has struggled to grow in terms of overall sales. Delivers were up in January by 38 percent, likely associated with the arrival of the new iA and iM, however 2015 sales slid by 3.2 percent and 2014 numbers plummeted by 15 percent.
“This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota,” said Scion CEO Jim Lentz. “Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network.”
Scion is said to be the “youngest brand in the auto industry” with an average age of 36 years old. The average tC buyer is just 29 years old, claimed to represent the lowest in the industry.
The company is not planning to discontinue the Scion lineup, instead rebadging the vehicles with Toyota logos starting in August for the 2017 model year. The company will then sell the Toyota iA, Toyota iM and Toyota FR-S, while the tC will end with a final release series. The upcoming C-HR will also become part of the Toyota lineup.