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Scion Rules Out Hybrids And EVs – At Least For Now

Despite youthful interest in green technology, Toyota brand maintaining emphasis on price.

by on Sep.16, 2010

Save the whales? Scion may be billing itself as environmentally-friendly, but don't expect it to use battery power anytime soon.

Who says today’s young buyers want to go green?  According to Scion, Toyota’s youth-oriented brand-within-a-brand, price trumps environmental leanings.

While the marque’s parent has become the top-seller of hybrids worldwide, with models like the Toyota Prius, Scion has “no plan” to get into the battery can market, the division’s General Manager Jack Hollis responded to a question from

Instead, the corporate strategy is to focus on keeping Scion prices down and letting Toyota come to market with the more expensive hybrid, plug-in and pure battery-electric offerings.

“We have no plan to expand into the hybrid side or to electrify” with products like the Nissan Leaf, Hollis said following the preview of the 2011 Scion tC coupe.

Power Up!

That model underscores the division’s strategy, Hollis explained, which is to come to market with vehicles under $20,000 that emphasize style and the efficient use of conventional internal combustion engine power.


First Drive: 2011 Scion tC

Aiming low (when it comes to age).

by on Sep.16, 2010

Scion is back with a second-generation 2011 tC.

“Turn it up LOUD,” suggested Jack Hollis, the general manager of Toyota’s youthful Scion brand, as we headed off for our first drive in the new 2011 tC coupe.

The most popular car in the Scion brand, accounting for over 40% of its overall sales, the tC also happens to be the most youthful car on the market, attracting a buyer who is, on average, just 26 years old.  For them, a high-watt sound system is as important as a high-power engine and low 0 to 60 times in judging the appeal of the 2011 Scion tC.

That’s not to say performance doesn’t matter.  Or styling.  And the Toyota division took aim at all these attributes when they developed the second-generation Scion tC coupe, which is just now rolling into U.S. dealer showrooms.

Reviews you can use!

For those who’ve somehow missed out on Scion, think of it as a brand-within-a-brand, a nameplate aimed at those young – and largely first-time — new car buyers who wouldn’t be caught in the Toyotas their Baby Boomer parents have been driving.  Scion has made an intriguing business case for itself by rolling out a procession of small, hip and affordable products that it markets in very millennial fashion.  Skip the TV and print ads, for the most part, and focus on social marketing, with events like the one in Los Angeles, recently, that drew more than 10,000 Scion owners and their friends.


Scion Reveals Two New Models at New York Show

Targets “urban” market with iQ; “early successes” with second-generation tC.

by on Mar.31, 2010

At just 10 feet, nose-to-tail, the 2011 Scion iQ will be the smallest four seater on the market.

Hoping to reverse a sharp, if unexpected decline in sales, Toyota’s youthful Scion division rolled out a pair of new products at the New York International Auto Show, each targeting a distinct, if potentially promising, niche.

Even for a brand that has traditional pushed downsize products, the little Scion iQ is downright tiny, measuring just a fraction of an inch over 10 feet, bumper-to-bumper.  The unusual 3+1 design, according to Scion General Manager Jack Hollis, will be the smallest four-seater in the U.S. when it reaches showrooms during the first quarter of 2011.

Big Ideas - Concentrated!

The 2011 Scion iQ “is about big ideas – concentrated,” proclaimed Hollis, during an auto show preview.  The vehicle, he added, is designed to reflect what the executive called the “new urbanism,” young buyers who have decided to return to the nation’s big cities and want vehicles that minimize the hassles of struggling through urban traffic or finding parking.

“Yeah, size matters,” said Hollis, describing the Scion IQ as a “premium micro-compact.”