Toyota makes it official: Scion brand is no more

Toyota will drop its youth oriented brand Scion they announced Wednesday.

Toyota will drop its youth oriented brand Scion. After rumors that made rounds on the Internet for most of the day, Japanese automaker Toyota made it official Wednesday saying that brand founded in 2002 will soon be no more and instead will be transitioning back to the Toyota brand.

“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.

Scion employees were briefed on Tuesday and will remain with the company until August in order to meet back orders. Toyota began the Scion brand in an attempted to appeal to younger buyers. From a high of 175,000 units in 2006, Scion sold only 56,167 cars last year not even eclipsing sales of the Toyota Avalon (60,063).

The brand tried to market with no haggle pricing and names such as the tC and the xB, a boxy car that was different than many mainstream cars on the market when it was introduced in 2003. Scion seemed to be trying to revamp its lineup in recent year with new offerings the iA and that rebadged Euro-market Toyota Auris, the iM. Perhaps one of the more popular offerings in recent years was the FR-S coupe a rebadged version of the Toyota GT 86 and twin with the Subaru BRZ. The FR-S was introduced in 2013 and although sold reasonably well, hasn’t helped the Scion brand widen its market share.

Now as part of the brand transition, beginning in August, MY17 Scion vehicles will be rebadged as Toyotas. The FR-S, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback will become part of the Toyota family. The tC sports coupe will have a final release series edition and end production in August 2016. The C-HR, which recently debuted at the L.A. Auto Show, will be a part of the Toyota line-up.

The service and repair process for Scion customers will be unaffected by the change as customers will continue to visit Toyota dealerships’ service departments.

“We appreciate our 1,004 Scion dealers and the support they’ve given the brand,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “We believe our dealers have gained valuable insights and have received a strong return on their investment. During this time of transition, we will work closely with them to support this process and help communicate this change to customers.”

Scion’s 22 team members, who represent sales, marketing, distribution, strategy, and product and accessories planning, will have the opportunity to take on new jobs at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in Torrance CA. Scion regional representatives will assume different responsibilities in their respective Toyota sales offices.

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