By on March 20, 2008

xb_sema.jpgYou read it right. Bloomberg reports Scion's brand manager, Jack Hollis, revealed in an interview yesterday that they're looking at expanding their lineup of rebadged Toyotas trendy economy cars. Showing Toyota is beginning to read from the GM brand management manual, he asked, "Should it be a youth truck, a youth SUV, an environmental car, a smaller car? We're studying right now to see which would be the greatest priority." He explained their rationale: "There are more leading-edge people we can attract that may not be attracted yet to these first three products." In spite of Scion's dropping sales (down 25 percent last year, 6.7 percent last month), he also said they would keep targeting "trend-setting" customers instead of just going for higher sales volume.  

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11 Comments on “From the WTF Dept: A Scion Truck?...”

  • avatar

    Uglier than the Aztec? Wow! Scion is going places.

  • avatar

    After such a promising start, they just seemed doomed already at this point. They should just keep bringing over atypical JDM products and keep focused on the things that made them start off well which were the tC and xB.

    If they want to do anything, come out with a new cheap, light AE86 replacement for the tC and drop the Celica from the Toyota lineup. Put some functionality and quirkiness back in the xB before the Cube eats their sales.

    Those two products alone would be sufficient to fix up Scion, not new half-assed product like this. If your core product is weak, don’t keep adding products to make up for the deficit.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    That A-BAT truck thing would fit well in their lineup. Or, if sticking with rebadged non-USDM vehicles, perhaps a Hilux. A traditional pickup around the size of the 1995 Tacoma or earlier pickup. Toyota could abandon or produce fewer of the bargain basement Tacomas and let the Scion truck handle the sub $16K buyers.

    Either way, a smaller truck could be a good. Just make sure it’s nothing like that monstrosity pictured above :)

  • avatar

    As long as it doesn’t look much like that, I’m all for it. I’d quite honestly take the existing Xb, make it a single cab with a 6-7 foot bed. Keep the pricing down, it would sell all day long (especially if gas price trends continue).
    Call it the Xrampage, Xcamino, Xrabbittruck, Xbrat, Xranchero, Xscamp, X whatever they called that last Subaru that had a bed.
    $100,000,000 in development cost for my idea easy call, betting that gas trends continue, and if not, they have a neat little truck they won’t have lost more than $98,000,000 on.
    It’d outsell the Colorado/Canyon $2/gal gas or $4/gas gas, that I’d bet my big toe on.

  • avatar

    Thank God we don’t have Sciontology here in Canada! (yet!)

  • avatar

    Scion needs this truck like Cadillac needed the Escalade. Scion needs this truck like Pontiac needs a ute. Scion needs this truck like Saab needed a Trailblazer with the ignition key between the seats.

    Honestly, I don’t see how anybody who lamented what’s become of the xB can say this is a good decision by Scion. If Toyota wants to build a budget priced truck, it should be badged as a Toyota, not a Scion.

  • avatar

    Why does every brand feel they need a truck or SUV/CUV?

    Why does every brand feel they need s “full model range”?

    I liked the idea that they produce an AE86 replacement for the tC.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    If Toyota wants to build a budget priced truck, it should be badged as a Toyota, not a Scion.

    But Scion has obviously become their strip/value brand, Toyota medium, Lexus luxury/sport(?). I think it’s a great idea as long as there is some sort of utility to it – jobbers/commercial have a huge need for small pick-ups. The current menu is sorely lacking.

  • avatar

    The day Scion’s execs look to traditional auto blogging sites, TTAC, Autoblog, Autospies, et al for input is the day the brand does fold. What I love is the hypocrisy. No too many years ago the same bloggers who today pine for the OG Scions were railing against the xB and xA on these sites. Now they predict the Scion sky is falling, and hate on any new concept or even just random musings from execs.

    Just FYI, xB sales have been up double digits for the past 3-4 months, xD sales have now matched former xA sales, leaving only the aging tC with slowing sales.

  • avatar

    The interesting thing is that most auto sites are not run by 18 – 30 year olds that Scion is interested in attracting to the brand. Therefore, it would make sense that most auto sites will criticize Scion as the Scion brand isn’t really designed to cater to them.

    The REAL measure of whether Scion is “successful” or not would be a study or measure at various social networking sites to see what the opinion of Scion is among youths.

    And yes, it is correct that Scion sales are up, with the exception of the tC.

  • avatar

    Just FYI, xB sales have been up double digits for the past 3-4 months,

    True. In Jan, xB was up 17.2% over 2007, and in Feb it was up 33.3%. But looking at the raw numbers, they only sold 486 more xB’s in Jan 08 than they did in Jan 07, and 956 more in Feb 08 than in Feb 07.

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