Toyota Says Goodbye to the Scion Brand
After 13 years Toyota is saying goodbye to its youth oriented division, Scion. Established as a separate brand in 2003, it achieved its goals of developing unique products 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."
According to Toyota, the decision was made in response to their current customers’ needs. The auto-maker believes their customers are drawn to the traditional attributes of quality, dependability and reliability of the Toyota brand. The auto-maker also believes that new Toyota vehicles are desired by young people. Scion has consistently been the youngest brand in the auto industry with an average buyer age of 36 years old.
Beginning in August 2016, the brand will start transitioning. Model year 2017 Scions, the FR-S sports car, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback vehicles, will be rebadged as Toyotas. The tC coupe will have a final release series edition and end production. The C-HR concept, which recently made its debut at the L.A. Auto Show, will also be a part of the Toyota line-up.
“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.”