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    Goodnight Sweet Scion


    • The curtain falls for Scion


    For something a bit surprising. This morning, Toyota has announced that the Scion brand will be shuttered and the current lineup will transition over to the Toyota brand for the 2017 model year.

     

    News of this was first reported by CarBuzzard where a meeting was held yesterday with Scion employees notified of the decision.

     

    “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, CEO of Toyota Motor North America and the founding vice president of Scion in a statement.

     

    Scion was first introduced back in 2002 as a brand that was very different from Toyota as it was aimed at young buyers. It was fun and offered unique vehicles (the xA and xB at launch). The brand also did things a bit differently with a unique marketing campaign and a no haggle policy. Toyota hoped customers who bought Scions would transition into Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the future.

     

    But a number of issues plagued Scion which ultimately led to its downfall,

    • The average age of Scion buyer was around 49 years old, not the young crowd Scion was hoping for (some reports put it at 15 percent of Scion customers were under the age of 35).
    • Scion not updating their lineup at a decent rate and letting models languish
    • Massive sales decline from 175,000 vehicles in 2006 (their best year) to 56,167 vehicles for 2015


    But it seemed last year Toyota was going to give the brand so much needed attention with the launch of the iA (Mazda2 sedan) and iM (Toyota Auris). There was also a new subcompact crossover that would be joining the lineup for 2017, the C-HR. But sadly, it was a little too late. The damage was done and Toyota realized there wasn't any way to save the brand.

     


    The twenty-two dedicated team members for Scion will be able to transition into positions at Toyota.

     

    “Scion has had some amazing products over the years and our current vehicles are packed with premium features at value prices. 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,” said Andrew Gilleland, Scion vice president.

     

    Source: CarBuzzard.com, Motor Trend, Road & Track, Scion
    Picture: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    Scion Brand to Transition to Toyota

    • Valuable Insights Will Aid Toyota in Attracting New, Young Customers


    TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 3, 2016 – Scion, established as a separate brand in 2003 as a laboratory to explore new products and processes to attract youth customers, is now transitioning back to the Toyota brand. Scion achieved its goals of developing unique products and processes, and bringing in new, younger customers to Toyota. With more than a million cars sold, 70 percent of Scions were purchased by customers new to Toyota and 50 percent were under 35 years old.

     


    “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.

     

    “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,” said Lentz.

     

    Toyota’s decision was made in response to customers’ needs. Today’s younger buyers still want fun-to-drive vehicles that look good, but they are also more practical. They, like their parents, have come to appreciate the Toyota brand and its traditional attributes of quality, dependability and reliability. At the same time, new Toyota vehicles have evolved to feature the dynamic styling and handling young people desire.

     

    Scion has consistently been the youngest brand in the auto industry with an average age of 36 years old. At 29, the tC sports coupe has the lowest-average age buyer in the industry. The most recent additions to the line-up, the iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback, are bringing in new buyers with 70 percent being first-time new car purchasers. Additionally, more than 50 percent of iM and iA buyers are under 35 years old.

     

    As part of the brand transition, beginning in August 2016, MY17 Scion vehicles will be rebadged as Toyotas. The FR-S sports car, 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 this 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 dedicated 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. Scion regional representatives will assume different responsibilities in their respective Toyota sales offices.

     

    “Scion has had some amazing products over the years and our current vehicles are packed with premium features at value prices,” said Andrew Gilleland, Scion vice president. “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.”

     

    Scion Accomplishments:

    • Scion Processes - Scion served as a laboratory for products and key sales and marketing processes that have provided valuable lessons for other Toyota brands:
    • Pure Pricing – dealers set a price for a car and customers did not need to negotiate
    • Mono-Spec cars – providing cars with only two options: transmission and color
    • Personalization – offering a large array of accessories to help customers customize their vehicles
    • Pure Process – transparent financing process
    • Pure Process Plus – an online system so much of the car-purchase process could be completed online
    • Scion Service Boost – pre-paid maintenance plan
    • Release Series – dynamic life cycle management through special features and options
    • Grassroots marketing – initial Scion brand was “discovered” by customers through unique events
    • Scion Products -- Scion has had some outstanding products that have made an impact in the industry including the original “box,” the xB and the FR-S affordable sports car. The tC sports coupe has consistently attracted the youngest buyer in the industry.


    Scion Executives -- Scion served as an important training ground for Toyota vice presidents, many of whom have been promoted to other roles:

    • Jim Lentz -- Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America
    • Mark Templin – Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation, Executive Vice President, Lexus International
    • Jack Hollis – Group Vice President, Toyota Marketing
    • Doug Murtha – Group Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning, Toyota Motor North America
    • Andrew Gilleland – current Vice President, Scion

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    And the path currently taken by Toyota continues to mimic General Motors of old.

     

    At least Toyota did not wait too long to pull the plug on Scion, unlike GM with Saturn.

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    And the path currently taken by Toyota continues to mimic General Motors of old.

     

    At least Toyota did not wait too long to pull the plug on Scion, unlike GM with Saturn.

     

    It was only 5 years difference between the two.

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    mr regular has an amazing review of the scion xb on youtube and calls out a lot of gripes that generally plagued scion and the designs it put out. frankly im surprised it mad it this long...

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    Just swap the badges, no one will notice..they are all sitting on the same lot at the local Toyota-Scion store...

     

    I guess their target Millenial customers all grew up and moved on to Toyotas...

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    And the path currently taken by Toyota continues to mimic General Motors of old.

     

    At least Toyota did not wait too long to pull the plug on Scion, unlike GM with Saturn.

     

    It was only 5 years difference between the two.

     

    Only 5 year difference?

     

    Why does it feel much sooner?

     

    I dont know whether its because I perceive  Saturn to have been with us as long as Pontiac was...(yeah, I know Pontiac=1926 and Saturn=1988 or 1989 or 1990) because Saturn did feel like  it was part of the GM family for a helluva long time because I kinda liked Saturn...

     

    Or because I feel like it was just yesterday literally   that Toyota announced they wanted to start selling cars to Generation X & Y and they will create a new brand underneath the Toyota nameplate...because I never took to the Scion brand...because ugly as sin cars...

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    I'm someone that Scion could target, and I would consider their cars.

     

    It's one of those brands that yeah maybe their cars are a good value- an perhaps the iA, which is a Mazda is probably excellent for the money.

     

    But I'm the kind that would just save a bit more to get a decent mid-size sedan. The new Malibu or Mazda 6 could attract my dollars way better than any Scion ever could.

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    This makes sense. Scion sales are junk. The GT86 would sell better as a Toyota, and the tC was a good Celica/Grand Am coupe type replacement 10 years ago but it is well past due now.

    Toyota should just make a Celica off the Corolla platform, and build a new boxy thing to compete with Kia Soul. Those Mazda rebadge Scions that will become Toyotas won't do anything.

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    Well it might have something to do with the fact that Toyota just bought full control of Daihatsu. Daihatsu will become the new Scion. Otherwise there are too many divisions.

     

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    Finally, a stupid idea that could have been done under Toyota is dead. They hit it on the nose when the comment was made of Toyota being like GM of old. Right now there is still too many name plates in the auto world. As a true global economy kicks in, I expect to see more name plates retire as they move to less. The big boys will survive and the small one will die. China is the next place to end up having auto name plate reduction. Way to many china companies trying to build cars and are only equal to Yugo or worse.

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    In a weird way, I'd suggest Scion was a victim of its parent's success, as well as the fact that figuring out what Millennials find appealing is like herding cats. 

     

    With declining license rates and millennials typically less jazzed on cars, the family's hand-me-down, faultlessly reliable Camry is an attractive vehicle for a young person to learn on, and then continue driving until their mid-20's.

     

    There's little incentive for a young person or their family to purchase a new Scion when Mom's sedan runs just fine, and then Mom can upgrade to a lightly used RX350. 

     

    By the time a late-20 something millennial is ready for a new car, they'll either find Scion's vehicles to be comical, pseudo-urban trappings of what was considered cool in 2004, or just uncompetitive against other vehicles. 

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    xB fueled Scion. It was part of that bunch, PT Cruiser, HHR, xB, those odd vehicles that were momentarily cool alternatives to sedans and brought in acceptance of new forms of vehicle packaging.

     

    Since then, buyers welcomed 'new forms of vehicle packaging', and sedans continue to slide....but the masses now seem set on a standard design language for what crossovers etc. should be.  In other words the experimentation phase is over, and everything is being mandated to fit the crossover styling formula.

     

    Well, if that's going to be the net result, then just sell a few more RAVs and highlanders.

     

    Even the Venza had to die, that is how rigid the rules are getting for vehicles that are not sedans.

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    xB fueled Scion. It was part of that bunch, PT Cruiser, HHR, xB, those odd vehicles that were momentarily cool alternatives to sedans and brought in acceptance of new forms of vehicle packaging.

     

    Since then, buyers welcomed 'new forms of vehicle packaging', and sedans continue to slide....but the masses now seem set on a standard design language for what crossovers etc. should be.  In other words the experimentation phase is over, and everything is being mandated to fit the crossover styling formula.

     

    Well, if that's going to be the net result, then just sell a few more RAVs and highlanders.

     

    Even the Venza had to die, that is how rigid the rules are getting for vehicles that are not sedans.

     

    The Venza had a face only a mother could love... that was the primary issue there.  It was just uuuugly. 

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    The Scion brand dying is really a shame. And it's a shame because of what it could have been. Toyota had an opportunity here to throw whatever crazy car they wanted on the market, and if flopped, shrug their shoulders and say, "Who cares?!?" And they totally squandered it. Instead of being an outlet for goofy, risky, out-there automotive ideas, they became just another brand under the Toyota umbrella that was ruled by bean counters and conservative thought.


    The problem with Scion was that they were afraid of their own success. When they came out with the xB and it proved to be wildly successful, they started overthinking things. They started applying their Toyota mentality to the Scion brand. They became worried about sales numbers and the success of their models, and that led to safe calls with mediocre vehicles that didn't break any new grounds on the design, packaging, value, etc fronts. They basically just started making vehicles that could have been Toyotas.


    Which leads us to today. For the last several years, having the Scion brand was a waste. You had no vehicles that were unorthodox or unconventional in the lineup, which was what the brand was for in the first place. And all the vehicles they did have would have been better served as Toyotas. Instead, it just limited the sales and exposure of those vehicles, and at least in the case of FR-S, prevented an improvement of Toyota's image. The death of Scion happened as soon as the second generation wave of products arrived.


    I own a 2005 Scion xB, and people can talk trash about it and the brand all they want, but it is a brilliant little car. Unapologetically functional, efficient, well-built, affordable, reliable, unconventional in style. It was so square (pun intended) it was cool. It is such an obviously un-American car. It actually has good torque for city driving, it rides fairly well, it gets almost 30mpg in town, it has good steering, it is impossibly roomy inside, it does awesome in snow, and the thing will last to 400,000 miles with just basic maintenance. And the crazy thing is, after 11 years and 130,00 miles, it's still worth almost half of it's original MSRP. I'll never get rid of the thing, I love it.


    Ultimately, the writing was on the wall for this brand a long time ago. Just one more casualty in the name of homogeneous autodom.

    Edited by Frisky Dingo
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    xB fueled Scion. It was part of that bunch, PT Cruiser, HHR, xB, those odd vehicles that were momentarily cool alternatives to sedans and brought in acceptance of new forms of vehicle packaging.

     

    Since then, buyers welcomed 'new forms of vehicle packaging', and sedans continue to slide....but the masses now seem set on a standard design language for what crossovers etc. should be.  In other words the experimentation phase is over, and everything is being mandated to fit the crossover styling formula.

     

    Well, if that's going to be the net result, then just sell a few more RAVs and highlanders.

     

    Even the Venza had to die, that is how rigid the rules are getting for vehicles that are not sedans.

     

    The Venza had a face only a mother could love... that was the primary issue there.  It was just uuuugly. 

     

    it had a proportioning problem.  It was not quite tall enough to look like a crossover.  It still looked a bit like a wagon.

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    The Scion brand dying is really a shame. And it's a shame because of what it could have been. Toyota had an opportunity here to throw whatever crazy car they wanted on the market, and if flopped, shrug their shoulders and say, "Who cares?!?" And they totally squandered it. Instead of being an outlet for goofy, risky, out-there automotive ideas, they became just another brand under the Toyota umbrella that was ruled by bean counters and conservative thought.

    The problem with Scion was that they were afraid of their own success. When they came out with the xB and it proved to be wildly successful, they started overthinking things. They started applying their Toyota mentality to the Scion brand. They became worried about sales numbers and the success of their models, and that led to safe calls with mediocre vehicles that didn't break any new grounds on the design, packaging, value, etc fronts. They basically just started making vehicles that could have been Toyotas.

    Which leads us to today. For the last several years, having the Scion brand was a waste. You had no vehicles that were unorthodox or unconventional in the lineup, which was what the brand was for in the first place. And all the vehicles they did have would have been better served as Toyotas. Instead, it just limited the sales and exposure of those vehicles, and at least in the case of FR-S, prevented an improvement of Toyota's image. The death of Scion happened as soon as the second generation wave of products arrived.

    I own a 2005 Scion xB, and people can talk trash about it and the brand all they want, but it is a brilliant little car. Unapologetically functional, efficient, well-built, affordable, reliable, unconventional in style. It was so square (pun intended) it was cool. It is such an obviously un-American car. It actually has good torque for city driving, it rides fairly well, it gets almost 30mpg in town, it has good steering, it is impossibly roomy inside, it does awesome in snow, and the thing will last to 400,000 miles with just basic maintenance. And the crazy thing is, after 11 years and 130,00 miles, it's still worth almost half of it's original MSRP. I'll never get rid of the thing, I love it.

    Ultimately, the writing was on the wall for this brand a long time ago. Just one more casualty in the name of homogeneous autodom.

     

     

    I can pretty much agree with this. Bottom line it was a chance to be different. And kids do like different, even some people. It didn't even have to be crazy, just something different along the lines of the xb.

     

    The xB grew on me...I even like the second gen quite a bit....

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    The Scion brand dying is really a shame. And it's a shame because of what it could have been. Toyota had an opportunity here to throw whatever crazy car they wanted on the market, and if flopped, shrug their shoulders and say, "Who cares?!?" And they totally squandered it. Instead of being an outlet for goofy, risky, out-there automotive ideas, they became just another brand under the Toyota umbrella that was ruled by bean counters and conservative thought.

    The problem with Scion was that they were afraid of their own success. When they came out with the xB and it proved to be wildly successful, they started overthinking things. They started applying their Toyota mentality to the Scion brand. They became worried about sales numbers and the success of their models, and that led to safe calls with mediocre vehicles that didn't break any new grounds on the design, packaging, value, etc fronts. They basically just started making vehicles that could have been Toyotas.

    Which leads us to today. For the last several years, having the Scion brand was a waste. You had no vehicles that were unorthodox or unconventional in the lineup, which was what the brand was for in the first place. And all the vehicles they did have would have been better served as Toyotas. Instead, it just limited the sales and exposure of those vehicles, and at least in the case of FR-S, prevented an improvement of Toyota's image. The death of Scion happened as soon as the second generation wave of products arrived.

    I own a 2005 Scion xB, and people can talk trash about it and the brand all they want, but it is a brilliant little car. Unapologetically functional, efficient, well-built, affordable, reliable, unconventional in style. It was so square (pun intended) it was cool. It is such an obviously un-American car. It actually has good torque for city driving, it rides fairly well, it gets almost 30mpg in town, it has good steering, it is impossibly roomy inside, it does awesome in snow, and the thing will last to 400,000 miles with just basic maintenance. And the crazy thing is, after 11 years and 130,00 miles, it's still worth almost half of it's original MSRP. I'll never get rid of the thing, I love it.

    Ultimately, the writing was on the wall for this brand a long time ago. Just one more casualty in the name of homogeneous autodom.

     

     

    I can pretty much agree with this. Bottom line it was a chance to be different. And kids do like different, even some people. It didn't even have to be crazy, just something different along the lines of the xb.

     

    The xB grew on me...I even like the second gen quite a bit....

     

    While never a fan of the scion auto's as they felt cheap to me when you were in one but then it was supposed to be an entry point, I think Scion is where Prius and all EV's for Toyota should have been. What the fuggly Iphone is to millennials Scion could have been to them also. A whole little or lot of different. Toyota due to their ultra conservative be like everyone else blew their chance to really make themselves different.

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