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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 Says Bye-Bye Box

Maker to drop both xB and xD models.

by on Apr.24, 2012

Not everything that glitters is gold, Scion discovered when it redesigned the boxy xB in 2008.

When is a minivan not a minivan?  When it is a cool box-on-wheels like the Scion xB.  Or, at least, it was when the maker introduced the original, squared off hatchback nearly a decade ago – spawning a whole host of imitations.  But a second-generation update left buyers cold, sending sales plunging – and now, it appears, Scion is about to say “bye-bye” to the box.

The maker also is planning to kill off the only slightly less boxy xD model which joined the Scion line-up late in 2007 to deafening disinterest, or so goes a new report in trade publication Ward’s.

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The two models will almost certainly won’t be replaced.  But that’s no surprise.  Scion officials have long stressed that products will come and go from the line-up as the Toyota sub-brand experiments with potential new concepts.

The Japanese maker initially billed Scion as its “youth division,” and while it hasn’t been doing all that well on the sales charts lately it has been able to attract younger, hipper buyers than traditional Toyota offerings like the Corolla and Camry.

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Toyota, Honda Report Big December Sales Gains

But both makers are down double-digits for all of ’09.

by on Jan.05, 2010

Lexus remained the best-selling luxury brand for 2009.

The market’s two largest Japanese brands reported significant sales upturns to wrap up the final month of an otherwise dismal 2009.  But both Toyota and Honda couldn’t erase hefty double-digit declines for the year overall.

Overall sales for the month rose 32.3% for Toyota Motor Sales USA, while American Honda reported a December gain of 24.5%.  The figures reflect the generally positive trend for the final month of 2009, leading many analysts to predict that the new year will bring the beginning of a long, albeit slow recovery for an industry down more than 40% from its mid-decade peak of more than 17 million vehicles.

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“Emerging from the rollercoaster of 2009, the industry has gained positive momentum for a gradual recovery,” said Toyota Senior Vice President Don Esmond.

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