Toyota Killing the Scion Brand, Keeping Some Cars

Scion-C-HR-Concept

Perhaps you’ve heard by now that Scion will soon be a thing of the past.

The brand that Toyota created 13 years ago to win younger buyers and act as a platform for new ideas will dissolve. Most of the brand’s current lineup, however, will remain available under the Toyota umbrella.

Usually when an automaker decides to end a brand, it discontinues both the brand and all associated models. Think Pontiac, Hummer, Saturn…the list goes on. This isn’t a traditional discontinuation, though. It’s more like a rollover.

And that’s actually really good news.

The automaker said that the decision to kill off the youth-oriented brand was in response to customers’ needs and the fact that Toyota’s newest vehicles are themselves appealing to the younger generation. That means Toyota found itself targeting the same audience with different brands. Killing Scion, then, must’ve been an easy choice.

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, gave this eulogy to Scion,

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. 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.

Now, here’s the really cool part about Scion’s death: The FR-S will become a Toyota.

Ever since the Scion FR-S debuted in America, I wished it were a proper Toyota. Other markets got the car as the Toyota GT-86, while we were stuck with it as a lowly Scion. This is purely speculation on my part, but I think sales suffered as a result. Buyers wanted a RWD Toyota-branded sports car, not a sports car with a second-rate brand logo.

Harsh words, perhaps, but I think they are true. The iM and iA are cars worthy of the Scion logo, which will now be “upgraded” to Toyota status. The tC, one of Scion’s first success stories, will be discontinued with the brand in August of this year. What would have been the Scion C-HR, a new small crossover, will now come to market as a Toyota and slot under the RAV4.

I don’t think too many people will be sorry to see Scion go, and Toyota’s lineup will benefit from its demise.

Will you be more likely to buy a former Scion once it’s relabeled as a Toyota?

-tgriffith

Find Certified Pre-Owned Cars and Used Cars in your area at CarGurus.

Used Scion FR-S
Used Scion iM
Used Scion iA
Used Scion tC
Used Toyota RAV4

3 Comments

  1. Respectfully, are you kidding me?

    I am very sorry to see Scion be absorbed into Toyota for many reasons. And I’m not the only one. The last two cars of choice for me have been Scion XB’s, and the 2014 in particular is better equipped and better looking than anything Toyota has to offer. Also, the great thing about Scion was that you didn’t have to haggle with salesmen about accessories, add-on’s etc. With Scion, basically what you saw was what you got, and that was basically to protect the younger buyer, and make it easy for them to get a nice car that had add-on’s included. I’m sure that’s something that’s going away, and the Toyota salesmen love it, becuase they can play around and get the most commission possible. I think it’s a very sad day, not something to shrug off.

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