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gunnut
04 Feb 16,, 01:20
Toyota kills its ailing Scion brand

Nathan Bomey
7 hrs ago

Toyota confirmed on Wednesday that it has killed its ailing Scion brand, which was spun off as a separate lineup of vehicles in 2003 but slumped in recent years after critical flops and slumping car sales.

The brand's vehicles will be rebadged as Toyota models beginning with the 2017 model year.

ďThis isnít a step backward for Scion; itís a leap forward for Toyota," Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said in a statement. "Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network."

Lentz, who was the founding vice president of Scion, added: "I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. Iím very proud because thatís exactly what we have accomplished."

Toyota envisioned Scion as an entry point for cost-conscious, young buyers. In that respect, the strategy worked.

The average age of a Scion buyer was 36 years old, and 70% of the brand's buyer's had never purchased a Toyota before.

But critically panned design choices ó such as the cramped iQ mini car ó set the brand on a path toward irrelevancy for the average new-vehicle shopper. The last straw, you could say, was plunging gasoline prices, which have crushed sales of the type of small cars Scion pursued.

"It just never got traction and it has been on life support for at least five years, if not longer," said Peter De Lorenzo, a former auto marketing executive and editor of Autoextremist.com, in an interview. "But kudos to Toyota for admitting that it was superfluous and they were wasting a lot of money trying to make the brand survive."

Scion's sales fell 3% in 2015 to 56,187 units. But was down 24% from 73,507 in 2012 and down 68% from its high point of 173,034 units in 2006.

Though Scion's struggles have been evident for some time, Toyota had invested design energy and marketing power in the brand until its dying breath. The company picked the Los Angeles Auto Show in November to reveal the C-HR concept small crossover.

That vehicle will join the Toyota lineup, the automaker confirmed.

The FR-S sports car, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback also become Toyota models. The company said it will discontinue the tC sports coupe in August.

"I just think the product was never really as compelling as it could have been or should have been," Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer said in an interview.

It was not immediately clear how the move would affect the 1,004 dealerships that sell Scion vehicles. All are already Toyota dealers, which will continue to provide service to Scion owners.

ďWe believe our dealers have gained valuable insights and have received a strong return on their investment," said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations, in a statement. "During this time of transition, we will work closely with them to support this process and help communicate this change to customers.Ē

The 22 people who worked exclusively for Scion and the brand's regional sales representatives will be offered other jobs in Toyota, the company said.


http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/toyota-kills-its-ailing-scion-brand/ar-BBp4Lxb?li=BBnb7Kv

Now, if only GM can kill off some of its worthless brands...

TopHatter
04 Feb 16,, 03:30
Now, if only GM can kill off some of its worthless brands...

I would've really liked a Saturn Skye as a fun runabout type vehicle...too bad they had to axe that division.

tbm3fan
04 Feb 16,, 08:54
No surprise as said above Toyota created the brand for cost conscious buyers who wouldn't be caught dead in the (bland) Toyota that their parents drove. Fast forward to the last few years and the tables turned as those young buyers are now following in their parents footsteps or choices. Their parents have all the high tech toys that they have so why not we have the cars.

Albany Rifles
04 Feb 16,, 15:06
I would've really liked a Saturn Skye as a fun runabout type vehicle...too bad they had to axe that division.

Always liked those vehicles.

Ugly as sin but reliable as all get out.

Stitch
04 Feb 16,, 18:50
For whatever reason, the Saturn Skye is my oldest son's dream car; me, I've always wanted a Lamborghini Countach. He's definitely more practical than I am!

40896

Vs.

40897

Squirrel
06 Feb 16,, 05:46
Scion sponsored some truly epic music tours and festivals back in the day. I probably went to 5-6 shows in LA sponsored by Scion. Sucks that will not ever happen again.

bonehead
06 Feb 16,, 19:15
"Marketed to the younger crowd"

Must have been a marketing failure as I have seen more retired people driving them than teens. They were a hard sell even with in their own brand, ie toyota.. tough to sell a scion when shoppers can walk to the other side of the lot and get a Corolla or Camry.

Gun Grape
06 Feb 16,, 19:33
Scion did what it was designed to do, Get young millennials into the Toyota family. It started off as a low cost way to brand loyalty. And it worked.

Cactus
07 Feb 16,, 14:48
Is it just me, or is Toyota / Lexus rapidly losing out on the market for lower-end luxury brands? The vast majority of older millennials and younger Gen X-ers in that market seem to be going to Acuras and BMW 3 series; in the Toyota family it is mainly Prius for one crowd and Tacomas for the other. I've been occasionally toying with the idea of trading up my '09 Civic coupe for a CT200h, but haven't been able to get a single first-hand opinion...

GVChamp
07 Feb 16,, 15:08
Is it just me, or is Toyota / Lexus rapidly losing out on the market for lower-end luxury brands? The vast majority of older millennials and younger Gen X-ers in that market seem to be going to Acuras and BMW 3 series; in the Toyota family it is mainly Prius for one crowd and Tacomas for the other. I've been occasionally toying with the idea of trading up my '09 Civic coupe for a CT200h, but haven't been able to get a single first-hand opinion...
Acura is pretty damn popular among my friend-group, but I don't know anyone driving a BMW. Lexus is still a pretty popular brand, at least among the men-folk.

I want a Cadillac, personally. :(

Actually I just want my Wife to see things my way: The Ford Escape is not a "big car," it is a tinker-toy.

Gun Grape
07 Feb 16,, 18:02
Is it just me, or is Toyota / Lexus rapidly losing out on the market for lower-end luxury brands? The vast majority of older millennials and younger Gen X-ers in that market seem to be going to Acuras and BMW 3 series; in the Toyota family it is mainly Prius for one crowd and Tacomas for the other.

It may be a local thing where you live.

Lexus holds 16.4% of the luxury car market. They are #2 behind Mercedes Benz (17.7%)

Acura has a 8.4% (4th Place) and BMWs are at 5.4% (7th Place)

http://www.statista.com/statistics/287620/luxury-vehicles-united-states-premium-vehicle-market-share/

Dazed
07 Feb 16,, 22:05
In the SF Bay area it is like Berlin with palm trees, gobs of BMW, MB Tesla and of course Lexus etc....

gunnut
08 Feb 16,, 20:18
I have made the switch to Subaru about 10 years ago. Now many of my friends are following me.

Cactus
10 Apr 16,, 14:20
Tried out a CT200 yesterday... It was a bit too snug for me (I'm just about median sized guy), and not much storage. A friend suggested a Mazda CX5, so I'm checking that out today.

Any other recommendations in the $20-25k, recent-model, used-sedan/XV category? I've a bad lower-back, horrible commutes, and early morning phone calls :(

RadioPatrol
11 Apr 16,, 02:02
I would've really liked a Saturn Skye as a fun runabout type vehicle...too bad they had to axe that division.

I am still driving a 1995 Saturn SL2 - 240,140 last week

gunnut
13 Apr 16,, 19:59
Tried out a CT200 yesterday... It was a bit too snug for me (I'm just about median sized guy), and not much storage. A friend suggested a Mazda CX5, so I'm checking that out today.

Any other recommendations in the $20-25k, recent-model, used-sedan/XV category? I've a bad lower-back, horrible commutes, and early morning phone calls :(

How about a Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4? Subaru Forester is not bad either. My friend just bought one. He bought a WRX a few months after that. Must be nice to have extra money lying around.

My niece drives a CX-5. She loves it. My brother said the problem with Mazda is the parts are more expensive than Toyota and Honda because Mazda is not as popular.

If you need to drive in snow with AWD, then there is no other choice than Forester. I saw a test by Motor Trend or one of the other auto magazines on the Forester, RAV4 AWD, and CRV AWD. The results were not even close. Forester was by far superior in snow.

Then there's the Nissan Murano, Rogue, and Juke. I don't know much about them.

gunnut
13 Apr 16,, 20:01
I am still driving a 1995 Saturn SL2 - 240,140 last week

1995 vintage, when Saturn was still good. It became just another GM car a few years after that.

Cactus
16 Apr 16,, 20:46
CX-5 Touring was a bit stiff for long commutes, and GT wasn't much better. Also looked as Subaru Crosstrek, and it was both stiff and bare for the price. CX-3 Touring AWD was surprisingly more comfortable, if a bit anemic (about 8hp more than my Civic... and >300lbs heavier)... I'm waiting to see what price the dealer offers, and debating if I live with the weaker engine.

Gun Grape
16 Apr 16,, 22:34
Tried out a CT200 yesterday... It was a bit too snug for me (I'm just about median sized guy), and not much storage. A friend suggested a Mazda CX5, so I'm checking that out today.

Any other recommendations in the $20-25k, recent-model, used-sedan/XV category? I've a bad lower-back, horrible commutes, and early morning phone calls :(

The CT is a "Upscale" Toyota Matrix. Based on the Corolla frame.

Have you drove a RAV4 yet?

Cactus
17 Apr 16,, 01:00
Have you drove a RAV4 yet?

Yup, dad has one... and it is super comfortable, low maintenance and no headache. Let me see how the CX3 negotiations go; if it fails, I may just round out the Toyota family in my family with a Camry.