Even though the name ‘Scion’ will no longer exist, the line will be transitioned into the Japanese automaker’s Toyota brand.
Toyota announced Wednesday that its independent brand, Scion is being laid to rest, so to speak. Even though the name ‘Scion’ will no longer exist, the line which was developed to lure a younger car-buying consumer, will be transitioned into the Toyota brand beginning this August. But are the brand transition plans a setback for the company? Au contraire according to Jim Lentz, founding vice president of Scion and now CEO of Toyota Motor North America, “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,” he states in a press release.
When Toyota launched the entry-level nameplate that was slotted below them, they were convinced that young people would steer their car-buying desires into the company’s fold and they certainly did at first. The brand got off to a really hot start, riveting ads, energetic promotions that resulted in stellar sales figures for four solid years from 2004 to 2008. It was evident back then that folks under 36 pined for vehicles that were fuel-efficient, stylish, chock-full of interior cutesy tekkie features and all bundled up with a sticker price, they simply could not pass up. Interestingly enough, those 70 percent of buyers who purchased Scions had never owned a Toyota.
It was pretty obvious that over recent years however, the sagging youth-oriented brand was lagging saleswise and this signaled the beginning of the end, particularly when two years ago, Toyota dealers were given the option of dropping them without penalty. Reportedly though, many Toyota dealers chose to hang onto the Scion franchise because many of their first-time buyers would either stay with the brand, or kick it up on their next purchase to a pricier Toyota or Lexus.
Toyota plans on rebadging the Scions as follows–the FR-S sports car, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback will become part of the Japanese automaker’s family. The tC sports coupe will have a final release series edition and end production in August of this year. The C-HR, which recently debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will be also a part of the Toyota line-up.
Toyota wants to make clear that even though their Scion line is crossing over, the brand’s existing customers need not worry as servicing for their vehicles will be unaffected by the change.