Why Toyota killed off Scion(Read article summary)
Scion was created more than a decade ago to attract young buyers into the Toyota fold, but sales for the brand have struggled in recent years.
After nearly 13 years, Toyota's Scion "youth brand" is dead.
Conceived as an entry-level nameplate to slot below the main Toyota brand, and focused on small cars, Scion will cease to exist as an independent brand in August.
The move comes just after parent Toyota attempted to reinvigorate Scion with two new models--the iA sedan and iM hatchback--and proposed that it would get a version of the upcoming C-HR subcompact crossover.
Those three models will all be sold as Toyotas for the 2017 model year and going forward.
A press release issued this morning said the decision to discontinue Scion was made in part because the younger buyers Scion was founded to attract are happy buying Toyota models.
More than a decade ago, Scion was created to attract young buyers into the Toyota fold with inexpensive small cars and no-haggle pricing.
In recent years, the brand has struggled. Scion sold 56,167 cars in 2015, down from a peak of 173,034 in 2006.
The brand initially had an unexpected hit with the small and relentlessly angular first-generation xB.
But a larger second-generation xB and a companion model called the xD were not as well received.
And instead of regularly updating them, Toyota let them age, then made a brief attempt to rejuvenate Scion with niche models.
It launched the FR-S sports car and the (since discontinued) iQ city car--neither of which had the ability to contribute high volumes of sales.
This past year, Toyota finally gave Scion two new mainstream models to sell alongside the FR-S and the existing tC coupe.
The iM is a re-badged Toyota Auris hatchback, while the iA is a sedan version of the Mazda 2.
The pair seemed to be what Scion needed, but perhaps it was too little, too late. They will, in any event, continue in the family.
Beginning in August, most Scion cars will be re-badged as Toyotas, which makes sense, given that many are already sold as Toyota models in other markets.
The 2017-model-year versions of the FR-S, iA, and iM will be sold as Toyotas, though their model names were not addressed in today's announcement.
At the same time, the tC coupe will be discontinued, with a "Final Release Series edition" set to usher the model out.
The C-HR crossover--shown in concept form as a Scion at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show--will be sold here as a Toyota, just as in other markets.