Since 2003, the auto brand Scion has positioned itself to lure the young new car buyers. With Generation Y or Millennials in sight, Scion’s vehicle line has for 13 years provided a value-oriented entrance towards breathing in new car smell. The affordability of Scion vehicles has also provided buyers the chance to invest their cost-savings into a larger customization budget. Making an impact on the sport compact scene with cars like the tC and FR-S, Scion’s party is coming to an end. Apparently, the parent of the Scion is grounding the young relative.
Described as a transition to Toyota by the world’s top-selling auto company, the Scion brand will cease to exist after the 2016 model year. Not mentioning the exact reason in their decision to cease operating Scion, Toyota in the United States and Canada have been struggling to point sales of the division in an upward direction for years. Last year, Scion sold 56,167 sales in the United States accounting for just roughly 5 percent of the cars sold through Toyota. Premium luxury brand Lexus’ 2015 car sales are more than three times greater than what Scion posted.
Debuting with small, affordable vehicles drawn from the Toyota brand portfolio of products, Scion launched with the xA hatchback as well as the box-shaped xB. Somewhat unremarkable products by themselves with meager powerplants, the cars served as original canvases for what the brand’s image would become. Scion’s legacy will consist of considerable options for factory customization. Recognizing the intrepid personalities of young people, everything from floor mats to TRD turbochargers has been offered with Scion products. The youth-oriented division of Toyota also demonstrated their own creative desires. Starting in 2004, Scion began issuing limited edition vehicles defined with exclusive paint and accessories. Called the Release Series, Scion vehicles were given an added sense of attitude. In total, 26 Release Series edition cars have been crafted based on the xA, xB, xD, tC and FR-S. The level of exterior and interior upgrades for a modest price as well as low production numbers continue to make the Release Series models a favorite among Scion supporters.
In association with the news of the discontinuation of the Scion bran, Toyota Motor North American CEO Jim Lentz states, “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”. Scion’s iA sedan, iM hatchback and the FR-S will be integrated into the Toyota brand for the 2017 model year. A production version of the C-HR concept sport crossover vehicle, showcased by Scion during the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, will also be included in the Toyota line-up sometime in the near future.
One vehicle not joining Toyota in the transition is the two-door Scion tC. Introduced in 2004, the tC will be remembered as the brand’s most popular face. The Scion tC accounts for 418,235 vehicles of the 1,092,675 produced between 2003 and 2015. Fittingly enough, the two-door coupe will have a pivotal part in the wind-down of Scion. A final Release Series edition Scion tC is planned and will likely be the last new impression from the brand when production ends in August 2016.
Scion’s legacy for providing high-value vehicles is noticed with in-car entertainment and control. Name brand stereo equipment from Pioneer was a common sight with vehicles under the division. In 2014, touchscreen audio systems became standard on all Scion models becoming the first non-premium vehicle line-up to do so.
While Scion owners will be relatively unaffected by the change since Toyota services still apply to past and current vehicles, there is no doubt going to be an adjustment made to the automotive landscape in North America. With 1,004 dealerships and their employees, the next several months will consist of a wind down of what was an enthusiastic and focused brand identity.
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