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?