Attn. Auto Mechanic College Students: Toyota to Pull the Plug on Scion, but Keep the cars!
February 23, 2016
Canada has had just over five years to enjoy Scion cars. The Toyota sub-brand was introduced in 2002 to help the Japanese auto giant appeal more to younger buyers, but didn’t make it to this country until 2010. Now, Toyota has announced plans to discontinue the name.
The decision seems sudden. While Scion’s sales have declined in recent years, two new vehicles, the iA and the iM, were introduced just a few months ago, and were thought to be integral to reviving the brand’s reputation. For auto mechanic students, it’s a sign of the times, as more and more automakers look to consolidate certain areas of their business to adapt to the ever-changing environment.
What was behind Toyota’s decision? And what does this mean for the Scion models currently on the market? Read on to find out.
Learning the Facts: A Guide for Auto Mechanic College Students
While many experts might see the decision as confirmation that Scion has been a failure, Toyota Canada CEO Larry Hutchinson insists that isn’t the case. “Our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers,” he said. “This is exactly what we have accomplished.”
Auto mechanic college students might be interested to note that one of the reasons Toyota has cited for pulling the brand is the changing attitudes of young car buyers. Scion was launched because Toyota believed that Generation X was uninterested in buying the same cars their parents drove. Millennials, however, seem to have less of a desire to stand apart from previous generations, which has resulted in the automaker becoming more popular among today’s youth.
How Scion Rebranded Toyota’s Image
Debuting in 2002 with the xB and xA models, Scion did experience some initial success. Toyota positioned the brand as a more countercultural alternative to its main vehicle line, focusing its marketing on nightclubs and events rather than traditional channels.
Sales were impressive, peaking in 2006 at 173,034 units, but popularity declined after the global recession. Ironically, it was in the brand’s later years that Scion debuted what was perhaps its best model, the FR-S. The lightweight, affordable coupe debuted in 2013, and was considered by many to rival the Mazda Miata in both design and performance.
Will You Still See Scions On The Road When You Become A Mechanic?
Anyone taking an automotive course might come to the conclusion that Scion models will fade away with the brand itself, however, Toyota actually plans to hold on to its Scion cars. The automaker was quick to confirm that the FR-S will be repackaged with the Toyota marque in 2017. There will also be Toyota versions of the iM and the iA.
Of the current models, only the tC coupe, which was already scheduled to be discontinued after 2016, will disappear from dealerships. Meanwhile, the Scion CH-R concept, a compact crossover introduced at the LA auto show, also remains in line for a 2017 debut on Toyota’s main roster.
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