Toyota has recently announced that they’ll be discontinuing their Scion brand later this summer starting in August. The Scion brand was originally introduced by Toyota in 2003 as a stand-alone brand designed to appeal to the youth market.
At the time, Toyota was struggling to attract younger customers, with the general perception being that Toyota-brand vehicles weren’t very exciting, leading to Toyota creating the Scion brand in order to solve that issue.
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Why is Toyota Ending the Scion Brand Now?
To put it quite simply, Toyota feels that they’ve more than accomplished their goals since 2003 with the Scion brand. Consider that, since Scion was started, 70% of the Scions that have been sold were to brand-new Toyota customers. Furthermore, around 50% of Scion’s total consumers are below 35 years old.
Toyota now feels that the Toyota brand itself, rather than a sub-brand in Scion, is far more attractive to the younger demographic than it was in 2003, in addition to the company having gained more knowledge of how to engage this consumer market. The company has stated that they think that there’s much more appreciation of their brand than before, making continuing to operate the Scion brand a bit pointless.
What Happens to the Planned Scion Models?
As mentioned, the Scion brand will be discontinued in August. However, the Scion models that have already been planned and announced will be manufactured as scheduled, with the difference being that they’re going to be rebranded and sold as Toyotas. For example, the planned Scion CH-R will be released as a Toyota in 2017.
The current Scion models, particularly the Scion iA, iM, and FR-S models, will also continue to be made, with the 2017 versions of them being sold as Toyotas. The tC coupe will be discontinued this year, but this was planned even before Toyota’s announcement.
What About Current Scion Owners?
Those who currently own Scion vehicles will not have to worry. They’ll able to bring their vehicle in for service, just as they normally would, at Toyota dealerships. Any benefits that they received from the Scion brand will simply carry over to the Toyota brand. This will be done automatically. For now, though, they can continue to bring their vehicles to Scion customer service dealerships until otherwise noted.
What Does the Future Hold?
Toyota, just before their announcement regarding their Scion brand, purchased Daihatsu, which is a small-vehicle manufacturer in Japan. It has owned a 51.2% stake in it since 1999 but now has assumed full ownership. Some Scion models were originally based on Daihatsu vehicles, and Toyota has hinted that they’re planning on making a global push of the Daihatsu brand.
Perhaps this move by Toyota is a strategic one, as it will create an opportunity for Daihatsu to make more of a splash in the United States. Regardless, Toyota won’t experience any major profit dips as a result of discontinuing the Scion brand, as it seems like it’s going to be a smooth and seamless transition.
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