After 13 years of operations, Toyota kills Scion

Scion is done. It’s a wrap. After 13 years of operations and attempts at trying to win more younger buyers to the Toyota portfolio, the Japanese auto giant decided to close the doors on the “youth” brand of Toyota.

I know, who cares–Scions seemed to be pretty lazy reworks of preexisting Toyota models, all aimed at the teenage and young 20-somethings crowd, only to be driven primarily by old people.

But it’s never a fun thing to hear about an automaker closing up shop and no matter how little they mattered, Scion was a commendable attempt from Toyota to try and capture the 21st-century youth’s buying power. But sadly, it obviously wasn’t good enough.

Scion had a few hits here and there, such as the first-generation tC and the Toyota GT86-based FR-S. Though, the rest always came up a bit short when stacked up to the competition, especially in the fun-to-drive department, which is a pretty important department for the youthful bunch.

Thankfully, the FR-S will continue to be produced, though it’ll officially come to the US at the GT86 now.

As for the rest of Scion’s lineup, well, there’s not much to worry about since the recent iA and iM models are basically a Mazda2 sedan and a Europe-based Toyota Auris five-door.

Will you miss the Scion brand?


Scion Brand to Transition to Toyota

Valuable Insights Will Aid Toyota in Attracting New, Young Customers

February 03, 2016

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

Scion sales by model and year:

Scion Sales History
2003 – 2015
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total
FR-S                 0 11,417 18,327 14,062 10,507 54,313
iQ               0 248 8,879 4,046 2,040 482 15,695
tC   28,062 74,415 79,125 63,852 40,980 17,998 15,204 22,433 22,666 19,094 17,947 16,459 418,235
xB 6,936 47,013 54,037 61,306 45,834 45,220 25,461 20,364 17,017 19,789 17,849 16,583 15,223 392,632
xD         10,948 27,665 14,499 10,110 9,573 10,756 9,005 7,377 794 100,727
xA 3,962 24,184 28,033 32,603 9,547 39 3             98,371
iA                         7,605 7,605
iM                         5,097 5,097
Total 10,898 99,259 156,485 173,034 130,181 113,904 57,961 45,678 49,271 73,507 68,321 58,009 56,167 1,092,675

– By: Chris Chin

Tags: , , , , ,

FRS BRZ WRX FA20 FA20DIT Extreme Long Block picture
FRS BRZ WRX FA20 FA20DIT Extreme Long Block
05 06 07 08 09 10 SCION TC CROSSMEMBER/K-FRAME FRONT SUSPENSION 381463 picture
2013-2015 FRS Airbag Steering Wheel (16K MILES) SUBARU SCION BRZ FT86 picture
2013-2015 FRS Airbag Steering Wheel (16K MILES) SUBARU SCION BRZ FT86
Lexus IS250 ES350 Toyota 4Runner Engine Connecting Rod Bolt Genuine 1326528010 picture
Lexus IS250 ES350 Toyota 4Runner Engine Connecting Rod Bolt Genuine 1326528010
Toyota Yaris Echo Scion xA xB 2000 - 2015 Clutch Flywheel Genuine 1340521030 picture
Toyota Yaris Echo Scion xA xB 2000 - 2015 Clutch Flywheel Genuine 1340521030

Subscribe & Connect

Connect with us on any of our social profiles below.

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

  • desertwind

    About time. With a name that, at best, could be mispronounced as a teatime pastry or, at worst, an extreme Jewish apartheid movement, the lacklustre, unimaginative offerings were seen through as the cynical rubbish that they were by the very young people they were aimed at. The fact it took so long for them to kill it off reveals the weakness of the byzantine management within Toyota.

  • John

    Cynical rubbish? What a fool you are desertwind. Alas, you are indeed an ignorant fool.