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.
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.”
“We’ve been eagerly waiting for this moment and are excited to introduce our new Scions in New York,” said Scion Group Vice President Doug Murtha.
“Both the iM and the iA are tremendous additions to our line-up and will appeal to young people with different perspectives and needs. These cars represent the evolution of Scion and are kicking off a new wave of momentum for the brand.”
The brand has been struggling in recent years after starting off with a bang thanks to some quirky designs aimed at young buyers. However, those designs haven’t kept up with the target audience and Scion has been cutting some of its original models with the latest cut being perhaps the most eclectic model in the line-up, the boxy xB.
Scion sales tumbled by 15.1% in 2014, to just 58,009. That made it one of the few losers in the industry’s best year since the Great Recession – and was barely half of what the brand sold at its peak in 2008. According to Murtha, sales need to reach 100,000 annually to make Scion sustainable.
(Scion aims to regain youthful allure. For more, Click Here.)
“We’re committed to Scion,” declared Bob Carter, head of Toyota’s U.S. auto operations, during a speech in San Francisco in January. The sub-brand remains “a test bed for Millennials,” and a significant part of Toyota’s broader strategy.
It continues to see 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. The Japanese maker isn’t pulling the plug, but instead has been trying to revive the brand with new products.
(Click Here for details about the iM concept.)
The turnaround in the portfolio began with the sporty FR-S, a 200-horsepower, rear-wheel drive sporty-looking coupe. It’s also put out its Scion tC Release Series 9.0 based on a one-off concept by tuner firm Cartel Customers. Clad in magma orange and black, the limited edition tC gets a specialized tuner center exhaust pipe, alloy wheels and an orange-accented interiors.
(To see more about Mercedes’ plans to launch 10 new plug-ins by 2017, Click Here.)
The iA and iM are clearly extensions of the plan to revitalize the brand’s offerings; however, what will happen with the sub-compact iQ remains to be seen. Perhaps another announcement during the New York show.