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.