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Say Scion-ara As Toyota’s Youth Brand Rolls Out Final Release Series tC

NY Auto Show sees Scion’s farewell debut.

by on Mar.21, 2016

Scion plans to bring just 1,200 of the tC Release Series 10.0 coupes to the U.S.

Toyota is bidding sayonara to its youth-oriented Scion brand, but not before rolling out one last special edition making its debut this week at the New York International Auto Show.

The limited-edition take on the tC coupe was developed as part of a partnership with Kei Miura, someone known for his striking, aerodynamic takes on Japanese domestic market, or JDM, models. The new Scion tC Release Series 10.0 boasts an assortment of updates, the maker explains, aimed at enhancing performance, as well as the stock tC’s appearance, inside and out.

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“For those enthusiasts looking for a piece of history, this is a great opportunity to own our best tC ever,” says proclaimed Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland, ahead of the NY Auto Show debut. “With the TRD performance parts, the JDM Aero Kit and the screaming red and black color scheme, it’s a fitting tribute to Scion’s mission to build cars for younger customers.”


Toyota Quarterly Earnings Top $5.4 Billion

Net income jumps 5% despite flat sales.

by on Feb.05, 2016

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda unveils the new Lexus LC 500 at last month's Detroit Auto Show.

Toyota managed to pull together a 5% jump in net profits for the third quarter of its fiscal year, despite a tepid global economy and relatively flat sales.

The automaker announced it made 627.9 billion yen, or $5.4 billion, during the October-December period, up from 600 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales and revenues were up a more modest 2.4%, to $62.7 billion. A weak yen played in Toyota’s favor.

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The news came two days after rival General Motors reported record earnings of $9.7 billion – for the full fiscal year. Meanwhile, he world’s second-largest automaker, Volkswagen AG, said on Friday it would delay issuing its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings as it struggles to account for the impact of its ongoing diesel emissions cheating scandal.


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.


Record Number of New Products Set to Debut at LA Auto Show

More than 30 world intros, up to 60 models to make North American debut.

by on Nov.19, 2014

The new Shelby GT350 Mustang may not be the only Shelby American-Ford Motor Co. collaboration for the new generation Mustang.

It’s going to be a busy week for automotive scribes hoping to keep up with all the news coming out of the Los Angeles Auto Show – and that means great news for car shoppers looking for the latest and greatest offerings.

Based on advance announcements, industry scuttlebutt and the LA show’s latest media schedule, there look to be at least 30 world introductions at the L.A. Convention Center, with twice that many new models on display for the first time in North America if you include those recently shown at the Paris Motor Show and elsewhere.

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The Tinseltown gathering will underscore the increasing diversity of the American automotive market, with everything from battery-cars to high-performance vehicles, entry-level crossovers to ultra-exclusive sedans. If anything, this week’s L.A. Auto Show breaks with recent history. In recent years there has been an emphasis on green machines. This time around, there’s a big push for performance and luxury. (more…)

Scion Teases New Concept for LA Auto Show

Youth-oriented brand looks to recapture lost audience.

by on Oct.22, 2014

Scion is bringing a new concept to the L.A. Auto Show next month and this is just a small peek at it.

Looking to rebuild its once formidable image among younger buyers, Scion is planning to roll out an assortment of new models over the next few years, and we’ll be getting a sense of what’s to come at next month’s Los Angeles Motor Show.

What exactly it has in store, Scion isn’t saying, but it’s giving a bit of a hint with two closely cropped teaser images of what apparently will be called the new iM Concept car.

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“The iM Concept car reflects the evolution of Scion as the needs and desires of its youthful customers also evolve,” says a terse statement from Scion. (more…)

First Look: 2014 Scion tC

Limited-production Scion 10 models to mark brand’s 10th anniversary.

by on Mar.28, 2013

The new 2014 Scion tC marks the 10th anniversary of the brand.

For a youth-oriented brand, Scion is getting up in years. And it plans to celebrate its 10th anniversary with not only the launch of the 2014 Scion tC sports coupe, but also with the limited-production Scion 10 Series models.

Despite the strong demand for the new FR-S sports car, the tC remains Scion’s bread-and-butter model, accounting for a full 40% of its sales, according to Scion vice president Doug Murtha. No wonder the maker is putting such a bright spotlight on the introduction of the 2014 update.

The goal of maintaining that appeal “challenged designers to enhance the 2014 sports coupe in ways that keep it exciting to today’s drivers without losing its core appeal,” he said during the coupe’s New York Auto Show preview.

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The 2014 model has a more assertive look, with distinctive new headlamps, a new hood and a more muscular grille. Lifting a theme its luxury sibling brand, Lexus, Scion adopts new LED accent lighting to set off the new tC’s headlamps. A few of the new design cues are borrowed from the FR-S, including the black-out valance and LED tail lamps. The 2014 Scion tC also gets new dark gray finished wheels.


Scion in Transition

To stay true to its past Scion needs to rethink its future. Is China part of that?

by on May.09, 2012

Scion boss Jack Hollis reveals the original FRS-86 Concept -- now the new Scion FR-S.

Think of it as the Peter Pan brand, forever young.  And that’s just the way Scion intends to stay despite recent rumors suggesting Toyota’s youth-oriented brand will shift its focus.

But don’t think there aren’t some big changes in the works, suggested Jack Hollis, the general manager of the Scion division.  Quite the contrary.  For one thing, the brand will be expanding its line-up.  And some familiar nameplates will soon be going away – with some radically new alternatives taking the place of familiar offerings like the boxy xB.

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Meanwhile, Scion’s success hasn’t been ignored by other regions of the far-flung Toyota empire.  And so, while conceived specifically as a U.S. brand Scion very well could expand into other markets from China to the Middle East, officials told in an exclusive interview.

“Scion will need to change and evolve because the younger generation is changing quickly,” said Hollis, stressing that the Millennial market is feeling the impact of not only the recession but economic changes likely to reach years into the future.


Toyota Throws Record Incentives at U.S. Market

After a 9% sales slump, Toyota goes on marketing offensive.

by on Mar.02, 2010

Under pressure to turn around a share and sales slump, Toyota is spending big.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. today announced plans to launch what it called its “most far-reaching sales program in its history.”

This latest development followed the  announcement that Toyota sales had declined 9% in February, moving far behind number two General Motors in the U.S. market.

Particularly worrisome was a drop in “first time buyers” during the month.

A “stop sale” of its most popular models  because of safety recalls at the beginning of the month cost Toyota an estimated 18,000 vehicle sales, according to Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division for Toyota Motor Sales.

Starting today, through April 5, 2010, the national marketing program includes financing, leasing and customer loyalty offers. Highlights of the program include:

  • 0% APR financing for up to 60 months on 2010 Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Tundra and Yaris, for qualifying buyers.
  • Low lease rates on 2010 Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, Prius, RAV4, Tundra and Venza, for qualifying buyers. Examples include a Corolla lease for $179 a month and a Camry lease for $199 a month, although offers may vary regionally.
  • Complimentary two-year premium maintenance program for customers who purchase or lease a new vehicle and provide proof of a Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicle already registered in household, with applicable conditions.


Toyota Planning $1 Billion Marketing Blitz

Japanese maker hopes to gain momentum as market recovers, and overcome recent setbacks.

by on Nov.02, 2009

Toyota will invest over $1 billion in a fourth-quarter marketing blitz, said division bost Bob Carter, to take advantage of recovering U.S. auto sales -- and to try to overcome recent setbacks to its image.

Toyota will invest over $1 billion in a fourth-quarter marketing blitz, said division bost Bob Carter, to take advantage of recovering U.S. auto sales -- and to try to overcome recent setbacks to its image.

Millions of Toyota customers will receive notice of a massive recall, this week, the result of a problem with driver floor mats that can come loose and jam the accelerator pedal.  But a senior Toyota executive, speaking to journalists during a Detroit luncheon, Monday, stressed federal regulators have ruled out the possibility that the company’s products could also face sudden problems with their electronic engine control systems.

During a blunt and wide-ranging conversation, Bob Carter, head of the powerful Toyota division, in the U.S., acknowledged that the Japanese maker has been facing an unexpected assortment of problems, in recent months, from quality snafus to recalls to slumping sales.

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But Carter said the company is ready to “go on the offensive,” and confirmed Toyota Motor Sales USA – which also represents the Lexus and Scion brands — will spend a record $1 billion on marketing and advertising efforts during the fourth quarter of the year.


Q&A: Toyota’s Jim Lentz

The future will be very, very bright...eventually.

by on Apr.09, 2009

Toyota Motor Sales USA's top gaijin, Jim Lentz, revealing the A-BAT concept car.

Toyota Motor Sales USA's top gaijin, Jim Lentz, revealing the A-BAT concept car.

By all measures, it should have been a great year for Toyota Motor Company.  The Japanese automaker wrapped up 2008 fulfilling its long-held goal of besting its American rival, General Motors Corporation, to become the world’s best-selling automaker, a push driven, in part, by the huge success of its Prius hybrid-electric vehicle.

But as the new year began, things didn’t quite look so good.  In the critical U.S. market, Toyota began posting sales declines nearly as severe as GM – with Prius sales off by more than two-thirds of its mid-’08 peak.  That, in turn, has helped the maker rack up global losses that are expected to top $4 billion for the fiscal year, which wrapped up on March 31st.

While Toyota has shaken up its corporate management back in Japan, much of the effort of turning things around has been focused on the wide open U.S., which accounts for the bulk of its profits.  No wonder that Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA is working a near 24/7 schedule.’s Paul A. Eisenstein caught up with the surprisingly youthful senior executive as he raced from a product unveiling, at the New York International Auto Show, to catch yet another flight.