Toyota has just announced that the youth-oriented brand that was Scion will be terminated and that the vehicles under its banner will be rebadged as Toyotas as of 2017.
This move by the giant Japanese automaker was very predictable. Success came early on as of 2002 but interest dwindled as the years went by. Scion’s very late introduction on the Canadian market in 2010 was done with hype and hope but most auto experts agreed that it was too little too late even then.
The issue partly had to do with the fact that Toyota was no longer able to justify the sub-brand’s existence due to slow sales nor promote it in a way that made sense to buyers.
The other element is Scion’s struggle was the product itself.
In recent years, only the FR-S stood for anything worth writing and talking about. It will have the easiest of transitions into Toyota’s North American portfolio as it is known as the GT86 everywhere else in the world.
The newly arrived iM has received mixed reviews – its biggest shortcoming being that it was expected to be the replacement for the beloved Matrix but its trade-off looks over versatility are hurting it. Rebadging it Matrix could help out its outcome.
Toyota Canada decided to badge the iA the Yaris sedan (Mazda2 sedan) from the get-go for now two apparent reasons, which tie into one: As a Toyota, the car will sell better and, know we know, Scion will no longer exist.
As for the xB and tC, they were both more or less on their way out. The original xB essentially put Scion on the map and it even managed something of a cult following. The latest xB is, well, no… The tC followed along the same path but it too fizzled out. We already knew the tC was going to go the way of the Dodo and the xB died for 2015 so that’s settled. My opinion? Keep them both. Call the tC “the Corolla coupe” and the xB can keep its name or be branded the “Corolla Verso”. Corolla sells.
Then there’s the Scion CH-R concept. It will simply become a Toyota and follow what was planned for other markets.
Scion effectively did what it was expected to do which is to attract a new and younger crowd to the Toyota brand. The perception that it was a “lesser” Toyota never helped but the value and attractive pricing did attract customers.