File this under ‘unexpected’: Toyota is throwing in the towel on Scion, its brand of compact and fashionable cars created with the younger consumers in mind. The subsidiary has been in business for 13 years.
CarBuzzard.com’s BJ Killeen apparently had the scoop, Motor Trend reported. Scion employees were told Tuesday and Toyota will make the formal announcement on Wednesday.
Scion just introduced new modes iA and iM last year, but it appears they weren’t able to get the brand back on track to make the brass at its parent company happy. Motor Trend reports the brand has “suffered years of sales declines.”
More on this story as it develops.
Update: In a fact sheet released a day after a blog leaked the news, Toyota is stating that Scion is not being shut down but is instead “transitioning back” after “achieved its goals of developing unique products and processes.”
The Japanese automaker is pointing out that part of the goal was to attract younger customers and Scion has achieved it – revealing data that 70 percent of Scions were bought by “customers new to Toyota” with half of them being under the age 35.
All told, Scion brand sold 1 million cars over 13 years of existence and its executives will remain with Toyota during the “brand transition.” This involves rebadging the 2017 FR-S sports car, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback from Scion to Toyota. Additionally, the tC sports coupe will be produced as a “final series release edition” and end production in August, while the newly introduced C-HR will be rolling out under the Toyota name.
Scion says it had 22 team members across sales, marketing, distribution, strategy and product and accessories planning and some – if not all – will be absorbed into roles with Toyota’s U.S. headquarters in Torrance, California.
Among the accomplishments touted in the fact sheet: Pure pricing – “dealers set a price for a car and customers did not need to negotiate; and grassroots marketing, the innovative tactic for organic discovery through unique events (there was a pop-up shop on trendy Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles).