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Toyota Abandoning Scion Brand

Once-strong youth division lost focus, sales.

by on Feb.03, 2016

The 2016 Scion iA was the youth-oriented brand's first-ever sedan and one of two products parent Toyota hoped would save the brand.

It was intended to attract the sort of hip young buyers who were largely steering clear of Toyota stores, and, for at least a few years, it worked. But with sales steadily dropping despite an infusion of new product, Toyota is pulling the plug on its Scion brand.

Products like the new Scion iM and iA won’t be abandoned, however. The plan is to rebadge them as Toyota products for the 2017 model-year, though it’s unclear what will happen to the edgy C-HR crossover vehicle that Scion was developing, as it could come to close to existing Toyota products.

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“This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota,” said Jim Lentz, the CEO of Toyota North America, is a statement. “Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network.”

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First Drive: 2016 Scion iM

New hatch delivers great value, improving road performance.

by on Aug.05, 2015

The 2016 Scion iM gives the brand an aggressive looking hatchback that hits showrooms on Sept. 1.

Scion is in the middle of a revamp of its line-up to reinvigorate its youthful buying base and as part of that, it’s debuting the new iM that slots right into a growing segment in the U.S.: hatchbacks.

Actually, what’s really getting attention is the “hot hatch” group and, to be honest, powered by a 1.8-liter four cylinder putting out 137 horsepower, the iM is not in that group, which includes things like the Focus RS, the JCW Mini, VW Golf GTI, Chevrolet Sonic RS and the Fiat 500 Abarth.

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However, with a six-speed manual, comfortable seats combined with an aggressive exterior, Scion gives potential buyers a fresh offering of a growing product segment that is a lot of fun to drive … when you wring out that little engine. (more…)

Scion Open to “Any Product Suitable” as it Searches for Turnaround Formula

New brand boss says all-wheel-drive, SUV even pickup could fit.

by on Jul.31, 2015

Scion Vice President Doug Murtha said recently he's open to any number of new models for the youth-oriented brand.

Scion will bring two all-new models to market for 2016 – half of its total line-up. That includes both the new iM hatchback and the iA, the youthful brand’s first sedan. But don’t be surprised to see Scion push into even newer territory in the next few years.

Struggling to regain momentum after a decade of declining sales, Scion’s new management team is making major changes, including a shift away from the dark, wildly creative advertising that marked its early years. But it’s ultimately all about product, stressed General Manager Doug Murtha, who told TheDetroitBureau.com Scion just might get its own pickup, utility vehicle, or at least something else with all-wheel-drive.

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“I’m a hand-raiser for any product suitable for the brand,” Murtha said during an interview in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he’d come for a media drive of the new Scion iA and iM models. (more…)

Scion Seeking to Reconnect With Young Buyers With New iA, iM Models

Paring down aspirations.

by on Jul.29, 2015

Scion is looking to reinvigorate its brand with two new models, the iA sedan and iM hatch.

Once one of the hottest, hippest brands on the U.S. automotive market, Scion is hoping to reinvent itself with the launch of two new models this coming year, the iM and iA. And, in an unusual turnabout, it has sought help from little Mazda.

First launched 12 years ago, Scion was designed to reach the sort of youthful trendsetters who were largely steering clear of parent Toyota’s showrooms. And, with quirky models like the xB backed by creative – if sometimes dark – marketing campaigns, the brand became an almost instant success, hitting a 2006 peak with sales of 173,000 vehicles.

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But Like a parent who tries to pick up on the latest teenage slang, Scion soon seemed to disconnect with hip audience it sought. The second-generation xB, specifically designed for the U.S. market, was a spectacular flop and, by 2014, sales plunged to a mere 58,000. The slide has continued this year. Despite the ongoing revival of the U.S. new car market, Scion sales dipped another 18.6% during the first half. (more…)

Scion Uses Alphabet Game to Punch up New Models

Two new entries signal commitment to brand.

by on Apr.01, 2015

The new Scion iA is designed to give entry-level drivers a sporty and stylish alternative.

Toyota’s youth-oriented sub-brand, Scion continued its renaissance at the New York Auto Show with the introduction of its latest alphabet cars: the iA and iM.

After suggesting the “i” in both vehicles stood for individual and intriguing, Scion began differentiating the pair by suggesting the “A” in iA could mean “aggressive” styling, “accommodating” cabin and trunk, and “affordable.”

A Real Performer!

Well, it better mean “aaa” as the brand needs add punch to its line-up to bolster sales. The new iA is affordable as entry-level sports cars go starting in the $16,000 range. (more…)

Scion Teases Two Debuts Coming to New York Auto Show

Toyota’s youth-oriented brand gets all-new models.

by on Mar.18, 2015

The Scion iA sedan is designed to appeal to young people who need a little more practicality, but still want engaging styling and outstanding driving dynamics.

Long-stumbling Scion is looking to recapture its lost magic with younger buyers with the introduction of two new models at the New York International Auto Show: the iM and iA.

The brand released a couple of teaser photos of the two vehicles today to hype the new models.

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The Scion iM is a five-door hatchback, which was shown as a concept last November at the L.A. Auto Show, while the iA is a four-door sedan that is “designed to appeal to young people who need a little more practicality, but still want engaging styling and outstanding driving dynamics.” (more…)

Scion Aims to Regain Youthful Allure

Flood of new products promised.

by on Jan.23, 2015

The Scion tC Release Series 9.

Scion is turning to an old idea in its bid for young drivers, giving its tC Coupe a two-tone paint job based on a popular custom car show concept.

Originally aimed at youthful “influencers” who would draw buyers into showrooms for parent Toyota’s products, Scion has lost a lot of its early momentum in recent years, recent models like the micro-sized iQ and second-generation xB falling flat in the marketplace. Despite speculation Toyota might give up on the Scion brand-within-a-brand, the Japanese maker has no intention of pulling the plug and is, instead, promising to roll out an assortment of edgy new models that it hopes will recapture Scion’s original energy.

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“We’re committed to Scion,” declared Bob Carter, head of Toyota’s U.S. auto operations, during a speech at an industry confab in San Francisco this week. The sub-brand remains “a test bed for Millennials,” and a significant part of Toyota’s broader strategy.

It sees Scion as a critical bridge to help it gain new buyers for the Toyota brand which has long been dependent on now-aging Baby Boomers.

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Scion Reveals iM Concept for LA Auto Show

A sign of a hatchback revival?

by on Nov.12, 2014

Scion's iM Concept is likely to reappear in production form in short order.

After teasing us with a shot of the new iM Concept a few weeks back, Scion has pulled the covers entirely off the new model it will be bringing to the Los Angeles Auto Show next week.

It may be a concept in name, but expect to see the Scion iM found a place in the maker’s line-up in the very near future, as part of a new product push designed to rebuild its once-formidable image among young trendsetters.

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And perhaps the most intriguing detail in the news release that accompanied this image is the fact that Scion isn’t trying to come up with a fancy euphemism. Toyota’s youth brand is calling the iM exactly what it is, a “hatchback.”

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