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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Scion: Less Dealers May Be More

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    August 19, 2013

    Scion has billed itself as being the offbeat, youth oriented brand in the Toyota group. So it comes as a bit of surprise to find out that Scion currently has 1,100 dealers across the U.S. - 200 fewer than Toyota. Considering Scion's small lineup and declining sales over the past few years, this isn't good news.

    With all of these factors in play, it doesn't come as a surprise that Toyota's US group vice president, Bill Fay said to Wards Auto that Scion's dealer network "might actually go down a little bit." Then this week, a Texas dealer told Automotive News that Toyota will allow dealers to stop selling Scion with no repercussions.

    "If you don't want Scion, if it doesn't work for you, it's OK if you want to walk away," the dealer said.

    How did so many dealers end up with Scion? They wanted a piece of the massive sales success the brand was experiencing in the first few years. In 2006, Scion moved 173,034 units, well above the niche-level sales the brand was projecting at time. But since then, sales have been falling. Total sales in 2012 were 73,505 units.

    “Mini has about 115 (stores), Volvo has about 300, Lincoln wants about 325, Infiniti has about 200, so I would probably expect Scion to have between 350-500 but placed in more strategic locations,” said Dave Sullivan, analyst for AutoPacific.

    What lies ahead for Scion? Fay mentioned that Toyota is considering a few possibilities for the brand. One of those includes moving the brand to a premium level. Toyota also showed dealers a couple of products that are in the pipeline; the FR-S Cabriolet which is or is not dead and a subcompact crossover.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wards Auto

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    I highly doubt this number as here on the west coast, the Scion is a room within the toyota dealership. Not a stand alone dealership. I wonder just how many stand alone scion dealerships with their own show room, repair facilities, etc that is not part of a larger Toyota dealership really exist?

    I would betcha that probably 80-90% are a dealership within a dealership.

    So cost would probably be low to kill off a slow selling product line.

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    Two brand new and one completely rebuilt Toyota dealers have gone up near me. SCION is but a corner in the new dealerships.

    The dealership that was rebuilt booted Scion out of its building on the same lot and used it for the Toyota brand while the Toyota building was flattened and rebuilt. At the end of construction, the Scion building was flattened to make room for more lot space.

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    Problem with Scion since then has been that it has too many models! Back when it was new, Scion only had the xA, the xB and the tC. Now it has the xD, xB, iQ, tC and the FR-S. Maybe they should drop the xD and the tC and focus on cars that are unique in the market place within or without the Toyota umbrella.

    And make those car more unique... maybe a Turbocharged 3 cylinder for the iQ or AWD for the xB?

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    Excuse me, but what is the point of Scion again? Fewer dealers does not correct for poor product mix and falling sales. Just terminate Scion; this is looking more like Saturn semi-done right.

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    This is a dying product line that could be an executive pet project and until that person retires and then Toyota will probably just do away with it. There really is no need for this product line.

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