Scion was established in 2002. When it rolled out with the original model year 2004 xB—in California first, in June 2003, then the rest of the U.S. in early 2004—the car completely changed expectations with its boxy styling (which certainly looks somewhat less avant-garde today than it did some 10 years ago):
Over the years, the fortunes of the brand that was meant to be (a) a retail experiment for Toyota by having a straight-up price (remember Saturn’s no-haggle pricing) and (b) a means by which Toyota could attract a younger buyer: Chances are, if Mom or Dad is rolling in a Camry (and given the number of Camrys sold in a given year, odds are good that that might be the case), a teen or twentysomething probably wouldn’t want to opt for even a Corolla have somewhat floundered.
Presently, Scion offers five vehicles: the FR-S, iQ, xD, xB, and tC.
From January through October 2014, there is a minus mark in front of the percentage of sales for each of those cars.
And overall, Scion is off 14.8% compared to its January to October sales in 2013, and that is in a car market that is up 6.1%. (And the aforementioned Corolla’s sales are up a solid 10.3%.)
But Scion is not going to be throwing in the towel, as some speculated.
Rather, it is going on something of a product offensive.
At the LA Show last week, it revealed the iM Concept.
This five-door hatch will be in dealerships in 2015.
During the iM unveiling, Scion vp Doug Murtha said, “We plan to bring three new products in three years to our showrooms, offering a variety of exciting options for current and new Scion customers.”
It would have probably been easy to phase Scion out. Realize that through October, 50,285 Scions were sold, which is about 18% of the total number of Corollas (283,764). Even the Avalon alone outsold all five Scions (55,304).
Obviously, there is long-term thinking going on at Toyota, which is certainly a laudable thing when too many car companies are thinking only of the next sales period.
Back in 2012 Audi bought Italian motorcycle manufacturer extraordinaire Ducati for €860-million which, at the time, probably seemed like a good idea.
Outside of a pickup truck, there is no vehicle that’s sold in greater units than the Toyota RAV4. So when they developed the new generation, they had a whole lot to consider.
The Buick LaCrosse has been Buick’s top-line car since it was introduced in 2004 as a 2005 model sedan.