Toyota gives up on its Scion small car brand image

Toyota Motors just announced that starting from August all Scion 2017 models will be rebranded with a Toyota badge, thus ending a 12-year effort to attract young buyers towards the small car marque.

Toyota established the Scion name as a separate brand in 2003, experimenting new products to attract more youth clientele. Scion hit that target, with more than a million cars sold, 70 percent of its cars being bought by customers new to Toyota, while 50 percent were customers under 35 years old. However, the brand’s sales have trended down in recent years, reporting only 56,167 units in 2015. “This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota. Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network,” Jim Lentz, founding vice president of Scion and now CEO, Toyota Motor North America, said. Scion has consistently been the youngest brand in the auto industry with an average age of 36 years old. At 29, the tC sports coupe has the lowest-average age buyer in the industry.

As part of the brand transition, beginning in August 2016, 2017 Scion models will be rebadged as Toyotas. Therefore, The FR-S sports car, iA sedan, iM 5-door hatchback and the C-HR will become part of the Toyota lineup. The tC sports coupe will have a final release series edition and end production in August 2016, the automaker said. The company also added that Scion’s team members would have the opportunity to take on new jobs at Toyota Motor Sales US.