Scion will be absorbed by Toyota in response to customer need, according to Toyota. It launched in 2003 to attract younger customers as a “laboratory” for understanding their buying habits and primary needs. During Scion’s million plus sales run, 70 percent of buyers were new to Toyota and 50 percent were under 35. This no doubt provided Toyota with the data they needed to better understand younger generations.
Toyota believes the brand reached its peak and achieved its goal.
“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.
Younger buyers frequently express their desire for functional, stylish, dependable, fun-to-drive vehicles that are affordable and practical. It’s likely their parents or older family members looked to Toyota to provide similar attributes; Scion was just the younger version. Now as the Toyota lineup attracts those same buyers, it’s clear Scion’s intentions were well carried out.
“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,” Lentz said.
Scion’s Vice President, Andrew Gilleland, echoed similar sentiments.
“It’s been a great run and I’m proud that the spirit of Scion will live on through the knowledge and products soon to be available through the Toyota network,” he said.
Beginning in August, MY17 Scion vehicles will be branded as Toyotas. The FR-S sports car, iA sedan, and iM 5-door hatchback will enter the Toyota family as well. 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 Los Angeles Auto Show, will move to Toyota.
The service and repair process is unaffected. Current owners can continue to visit any Toyota dealership for their routine service. Toyota is working to make the transition easier for customers and dealerships alike.
“We could not have achieved the success we have had without the incredible support of Scion’s customers, dealers, and team members, so supporting them throughout this transition process will be one of our top priorities,” Lentz said.
Scion has consistently been the youngest car brand with an average age of 36 years old. At 29, the tC sports coupe has the lowest-average age buyer in the industry. 70 percent of iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback customers are first-time car buyers, while more than 50 percent of iM and iA buyers are under 35.
Scion’s staff of 22, representing sales, marketing, distribution, strategy, product, and accessories will have new roles at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Scion Service Boost: Pre-paid maintenance
Pure Process: Transparent financing process
Personalization: A large array of accessories were offered
Pure Pricing: Dealers set a price and customers did not need to negotiate
Mono-Spec: Providing cars with only two options: transmission and color
Pure Process Plus: A system where much of the car-purchase process could be completed online
Will you miss Scion?
*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan