Toyota Pulls the Plug on Scion Brand
Toyota announces that youth-oriented US-based Scion sub-brand will be axed in August due to disappointing sales.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Scion, it is a brand launched in 2002 in the United States by Toyota to try and attract cooler, younger buyers and bring a fresh image to the sometimes dull brand.
Scion models were largely based on existing Toyota offerings, but often boasted small differences, such as upgraded interiors, body, tech and colours, which was supposed to make them sportier and more fun.
Perhaps the most notable and successful Scions are the boxy xB, which has become something of a cult favourite and the Scion FR-S, which is the US version of the widely-revered Toyota GT86.
However, it seems that Toyota’s vision, which was basically to entice young buyers to purchase a Scion and then encourage them to upgrade to a Toyota or Lexus later, never really came to fruition and that’s why Toyota will be dropping its Scion arm in August this year.
The Scion brand had its best year in terms of sales way back in 2006 (yes, that’s 10 years ago), but since the world’s financial crisis developed and fewer young Americans were learning to drive each year, Scion’s sales have slumped and Toyota (whether you like it or not) hasn’t been ploughing the same resources into the brand as it once did.
To put Scion’s demise into perspective, it sold just 56,167 cars in 2015. That may sound like quite a lot, but when you consider that some individual Toyota models sold more than that in two months alone, you can see why the writing was on the wall for Scion.
It’s not all doom and gloom for Scion, however, as its existing range, including the FR-S, will get rebadged and be sold as Toyotas going forward. Let’s wait and see if that strategy has a positive effect on the stuck-in-the-mud Scion sales.