By on July 15, 2011

Having overplayed the youth marketing angle, only to find its cars being bought by folks well outside its “target demographic,” Scion seems to be making the first hesitant steps towards accepting reality. Autoobserver’s Dale Buss reports:

The economic woes of America’s twenty-somethings have forced Scion to broaden its demographic target to include the rest of the Millennial generation, up to age 35. “It’s a function of affordability and the state of economics for 18- to 24-year-olds, with high unemployment,” said Owen Peacock, national marketing communications manager for Scion. “They’re focused on things like college and debt load. At the end of the day, do you go with a small target or go after those who can actually buy a car now? So you need to adjust.”

But how is the “Zeus”-themed online marketing campaign actually supposed to expand Scion’s appeal to an older demographic?

Buss notes

Perhaps part of the thinking was that older Millennials may have been fortunate enough actually to learn about Greek mythology in a U.S. education system that has been getting away from teaching classicism…

Perhaps surprisingly, never before had Scion plunged into a pitch based as much on humor as the Zeus campaign, Peacock said. Yet part of the reason it has done so now is social media. “As you look at sharing and ‘liking’ content, people do that more often with humorous than with ‘cool’ content,” he said. “We figured this could serve about 10 different masters. There’s more shareability potential than before”…

Peacock said there’s a reason tC itself is a relatively shadowy presence in the online-only videos. “Let’s say someone initially wasn’t attracted to tC, but because of the campaign exposure, it would give them more of a tendency to investigate and discover tC,” he said. “We’re trying to attract the kind of person who looks at comedy web sites. That hits a broader range of people than just a car advertisement.”

Oh dear. What at first seemed like a step in the right direction now just seems like more flailing. Someone needs to either teach Scion to market to young people in a way that appeals to the people who are actually buying Scions as well, or Toyota needs to stop faffing around, roll Scion’s products into its own brand and start convincing people that Toyotas don’t have to be boring. Especially now that Scion’s about to get the most promising new products its had for ages, the FR-S RWD sportscar and the iQ city car.

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53 Comments on “Scion Gives In, Starts Marketing To “Oldies”...”


  • avatar
    Pch101

    This sounds like a move straight out of the GM playbook: Begin by defining a brand narrowly to create a niche, only to overextend it when the market starts to shrink.

    Scion isn’t supposed to be a full-fledged brand. It was meant to be part market-research project, part youth generator, but with the intended purpose of eventually selling Toyota-badged vehicles to the buyers as they aged.

    It shouldn’t matter whether Scion itself moves much metal. The question should be whether Scion ultimately helps to sell more Toyotas. Expanding the demographic appeal of Scion, if successful, sounds like a move toward cannibalization, not a way to help the corporation as a whole. If anything should be learned from the GM experience, it’s that you shouldn’t try to save a weaker brand at the expense of a core brand; either let the weaker brand stay weak, or else just cut it off entirely.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      It shouldn’t matter whether Scion itself moves much metal.

      To an extent. You still have to justify corporate operational costs (branding, marketing, legal, finance, engineering, etc. etc.) and I seriously question based on the strength of the Yen, the very weak US dollar, an all Japan production base for Scion products, low price points with little wiggle room for profit, and a total product line sales velocity pre-earthquake that would struggle to reach 50K units annually, if Scion is justifying its existence.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You still have to justify corporate operational costs (branding, marketing, legal, finance, engineering, etc. etc.)

        There are no independent Scion dealerships. The cars are just US versions of Toyotas sold in other markets. Scion is more like a badge than it is a full-fledged brand.

        It sounds as if there are folks at Scion who are trying to justify their existence. That would be a mistake.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        There is still serious cost involved in building a “brand” and supporting and growing it. If you don’t adequately fund it, you have issues.

        I am very aware there is technically no such thing as a “Scion” dealership. But there are Scion ads, Scion creative, Scion materials, Scion specific contracts, Scion specific parts, Scion specific training required of technicians, sales reps need to be trained on how to sell a Scion, then you have the whole Scion accessories and the releated costs supported at a corporate level.

        You have all products built in Japan on a very strong dollar, built specifically for the North American market (translation, localization, right hand drive vs. left hand drive, US crash test and other DOT requirements for pedestrian safety, lighting) and then sold in the US at a bargain basement price on a very weak US dollar. That reengineering work isn’t free either.

        It’s OK if we don’t sell a lot of them or don’t even make money on them as it draws them into the showroom is a valid point for a car like the LF-A; but a whole brand and the supporting infrastructure? That ia Detroit grade suggestion.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        There is still serious cost involved in building a “brand” and supporting and growing it. If you don’t adequately fund it, you have issues.

        But it wasn’t supposed to be a brand. The intention was to create a sub-brand within the Toyota parent brand, not a bona fide separate brand ala Lexus.

        As a sub-brand with a couple of models serving as bargain halos, it might have some merits. As a full-fledged brand, it makes no sense unless it gets own separate identity and care is taken to avoid overlapping with the main Toyota line.

        This sounds like mission creep led by those within Scion who don’t want to be fired. If anything, Scion doesn’t need more models, but fewer of them, combined with a more tightly defined branding message that makes Scion unique, yet consistent in its role as a lead generator for the parent brand that actually pays the bills.

  • avatar
    Marko

    I remember seeing the very first 2004 xB’s on the road and seeing their drivers. They weren’t exactly the “youth” that Scion was supposed to appeal to…

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Marko: I would have to agree. There was a time (before my beard went gray) that only graybeards were driving Scion Xboxes and PT Cruisers. You can’t deny the value proposition, but it was 180 degrees from the marketing message.

      Among my children’s friends, Scion doesn’t even register as a brand they want to be associated with. They’re either buying cheap Chevies and Hondas or if they’ve got a few bux, they’re ponying up for Audis.

      • 0 avatar
        Marko

        @ Geozinger

        It’s interesting that you mention your children’s friends. I’m a member of the so-called “Generation Y” myself, and none of my friends drive a Scion. They all either drive hand-me-down cars/trucks/SUVs or their parents bought them a used VW Passat or Audi A4. None of them actually walked into a dealership themselves to buy a NEW car.

        I don’t currently own a car because I don’t have a place to park, but when it’s time to buy my first car in a few years, I’ll probably look at mostly used cars, maybe a new entry-level Hyundai, Honda, or Mazda. I’ll strongly consider Ford and GM if their latest compact offerings prove reliable.

        But Scion? xB is okay but long in the tooth, xD is also long in the tooth, not very comfortable, and has a few crash test issues, and the tC has mediocre stock tires and would probably be too expensive to insure.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Marko: Yes, I feel like I’m lurking at a rave or something when posting about what my kids want to drive. It’s a little creepy.

        I should have noted that my kids friends are mostly driving USED cars, the cheap Chevies and Hondas and whatnot that shows up in the local Craigslist.

        My older daughter is about a year from graduation, has a nice Pontiac Sunfire, but also has a fair amount of student loans. If something were to happen to the Sunfire, I’m sure we’d be looking at another entry level replacement car.

        It will be a while before she can afford the Audi TT of her dreams.

      • 0 avatar
        yesthatsteve

        Three Scions live on my block: 2 tCs and a 1st gen xB. The tCs are driven by a high school senior and a 20-something manager at McDonald’s who lives with his parents to save cash. I drive the xB, and I’m 44. The senior’s dad thinks my car is cool, but so do my kids (ages 5 to 14) & their friends.

        Transportation for the rest of the under-25 crowd on my block? A ’98 Taurus, a ’93 Accord, and a bicycle. The cyclist is a recent high school grad working two restaurant jobs to save for community college tuition/fees and a beater to drive to class. I don’t envy him this week, with temps approaching 100.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        I don’t think these very small data points really make any sense. Scion actually has a very large market share in the youth market, it’s just such a small market overall that it almost doesn’t matter if you want volume. And for the record I know two people who were in their early/mid twenties when they bought their Scions. One’s a computer whiz at a bank and one’s a doctor. You have to realize that a lot of sales end up being marked down as being sold to an older person because someone’s mom or dad bought their car for them, so when your friends’ kids are buying those Audi’s is it really them buying it? Doubtful if they’re under 24.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I’m 32 and did a little bit of research on the Scion xB because I’m looking for a station wagon to haul my kid around — since a minivan is overkill for hauling one kid, and since SUVs and crossovers aren’t my taste.

        Scion’s didn’t interest me before parenthood. The styling was quirky, but that’s not enough to sell me a car even now. I was in the sub-$8k used car market in my 20s, and now I’m in the sub-$12k used car market (unless the vehicle has energy-saving or alternative-fuel technology — I’ll pay new car prices for that).

        Alas, the xB isn’t rated to tow anything in the American market so, despite being usefully sized and shaped, it’s not a good fit for my needs. Bummer, especially since I only need 1500lbs.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Tekdemon: The kids that do have new (and used) Audis and such are young guys who do practically nothing else but work at their two or three jobs and (mostly) live at home. It’s a twisted sort of status thing among these Bosnian immigrants here.

        I mean, I really like cars, but not so much that all I do is work to keep the payments on a Merc or Audi when I could be using that money for other things.

        Most of these guys want to be like other American kids and drive around with the music blasting out of the windows. The one kid on my street had a silver Audi, but I never saw the windows down when he had the music blasting. I later found out the power window switch (or something) had died and it took him three months or so to earn the money to get it fixed.

        Such is the price of style.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I bought my xB1 at age 41. And like “yesthatsteve”, my kids and their friends think it is cool.

      But as for Scion’s advertising:
      A) It didn’t influence me to buy the car. Headroom, utility, price, economy, and reliability did.
      B) I could count on one hand how many times I’ve seen a Scion ad over the last 6 years of owning one of their cars. Their advertising ‘campaign’ for the brand is nearly non-existent.
      C) Who looks at comedy sites?
      D) I hear much more advertising by local Scion dealers for the brand than I do by Toyota itself.

      Sadly, Scion is moot at this point, as is their marketing intent. It doesn’t matter who they’re targeting, they don’t sell cars because the product today is boring, not distinctive, and uncompetitive.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The first hesitant steps toward reality for Scion would be ending this failed experiment and killing the brand, calling the pending FT-86 a Celica, and putting the Toyota logo on the nose.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Toyota for the most part is an old people’s brand. Staid and reliable. Scion was to bring Toyota to a younger part of the market. The razor’s edge for marketing in this manner is whether the younger market gets it, and wants it, or if an older demographic views this product as a way to appear young and trendy. Scion, and its ad copy missed the mark, and now they’re drawing a bullseye around the market they did hit.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    In ’09-’10, 37.4% percent of Scion tC buyers are 18-27, or “Gen+Y” demographic, highest in the industry. The xD is sixth at 19.1%.

    Furthermore, the brand with the highest % of Gen-Y buyers is, yup…Scion, with 21.2%.

    They’re the best, but 78.8% of Scion buyers are still over 27.

    http://blog.truecar.com/2011/07/06/youthful-car-brands-dominate-generation-y-buyers/

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      People straight out of college don’t have the money for a new car, and some of them are smart enough not to take out a big loan for one, either.

      This lesson will be re-taught to every automaker who starts chasing after the 18-28 demographic. The demographic doesn’t exist. Getting people that age to buy a new car is almost as hard as getting them to vote.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Furthermore, the brand with the highest % of Gen-Y buyers is, yup…Scion, with 21.2%.

      With 45K to 50K annual total sales (give or take) it makes it real easy to torture statistics and create a sexy percentage number when looking at demographics. (not directed @philadlj)

      Of the 12 million cars and light trucks that will be sold in the United States this year, give or take a few hundred thousand, less than 1/2 of 1% will be Scions. Put another way, of the 12 million cars and light trucks that will be sold in the United States, this year, give or take, 45,000 to 50,000 will be Scions, and of those less than 10,000 will be bought by those under the age of 27. It is a negligible number.

      You bring up the more important point, almost 79% of Scion buyers are not Generation Y aged (the bigger question is how many Scion buyers are 50+, I would love to see that statistic). The brand experiment is not working for Toyota, and probably wouldn’t work for anyone. Generation Y is having a very hard time finding jobs as a demographic, they are likely mired in student loans if educated, they aren’t all that interested in driving in general, and if they do buy they are buying used, or they are going “green” with public transit, scooters, motorcycles, and bumming rides.

      The data you provided can help draw another conclusion, Generation Y isn’t buying a lot of new cars from anyone.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        To be statistically fair a little over 5.5 million passenger cars were sold last year. So 50k is really about 1% of the market. The real advantage to scion is it costs practically nothing to run it outside of a marketing budget. Only the current xB is US-only (and I believe in that is sold side-by-side with the Japanese market version at home). The components are all stock Corolla or Yaris parts and what little sheet metal difference is negligible. The problem for Scion has always been the youth market wants power, speed, and beauty. Scions gave them beauty and customization but at an impractical price point. Scions are largely underpowered and fuel mileage is negligible because Toyota while leading the pack in economy is doing it with thrifty engines rather than advanced technology. Their engines are lagging behind the Americans now.

        To keep Scion relevant they need a real halo car and a stock power option. People are willing to drop an extra 1500-2000 for a turbo option and TRD has a turbo for the 2.4 in the xB and I believe they have one for the smaller xD as well.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The Scion xB is built in Japan. No Scion model is built in North America.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “The problem for Scion has always been the youth market wants power, speed, and beauty.”

        No, the youth market wants something that “won’t make me move in with my parents”, followed by “won’t scare a girlfriend away”. At least those were my priorities when I was a 20-something, and my $6400 Ranger fit the bill.

        My wife drives a well-worn and paid-off Prius that her parents helped her to buy after her sister wrecked her car they were both in college (she took over the payments when she got her first job).

        These are the two ways the real 20-somethings buy cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        The xB is built in Japan but the current US model is different I believe from the Japanese Toyota model that is in production. It’s much larger than the first gen xB and thus I wasn’t sure if it was sold in Japan or just North America.

        As for the whole “I just don’t want to go broke” scene, yes, many 20-somethings are in that same ship but the largest car buying portion of them have enough money to want something useful. If you’re buying a ranger at 22 and don’t live in the sticks or have a manual labor job something is wrong with the equation.

      • 0 avatar

        Xeranar,

        The Ranger is perfectly fine for most twenty-somethings. It’s got two seats, plenty of room in the back for… well, y’know, what twenty-somethings do, fuel efficient engine (in some models)and a cheap price.

        I guess considering how I got into a rant about how boring I think Scions are just below, I should think Rangers are boring too but they’re actually some of my favorite vehicles. It would certainly be better than my sedan at hauling the four-by-five-foot architectural models I have to lug around all over the place.

  • avatar

    The truth is that the reason Millennials won’t buy a Scion is because they’re boring. The only Toyota or Scion I’ve ever heard anybody my age want (I’m 22) is a Tacoma. And not the new ones, the older ones, because just as everyone else has said the new one is too damn big.

    From what I’ve heard, the biggest cars people my age actually want are cars that have cool things about them, like all wheel drive or turbocharging. You know, cool things. Some of us like Priuses for fuel economy, many like Subarus, especially the Impreza and WRX, a helluva lot of people like trucks like the Ford Raptor, and of course cars like the Chevy Camaro. There’s also a lot of love for the Mini Cooper, although not quite as much. Most of us would rather buy a used one of those than a new Scion.

    The failed premise behind Scion is not that you can sell to Millennials; you can. The failed premise is that Millennials can be wooed into a cheap, boring economy car through silly hip-hop “youth” themed advertisements. Give us some credit Toyota, we’re not stupid enough to buy an xB just because you make a silly “youth-themed” commercial.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Give us some credit Toyota, we’re not stupid enough to buy an xB just because you make a silly “youth-themed” commercial.”

      How about hamsters? Anyone?

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        Zachman,

        Funny you should bring that up. Almost every Kia Soul I see is being driven by folks with grey hair. Seems like the same thing happened with the Honda Element.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Zackman: Good comment.

        Of course by the same token, if advertising worked as well as made out to be, the Detroit mfrs would still be cranking out updated versions of their 1935 product line…

        I think the real difference between the Scion xBoxes and the Kia Soul is that the Kia is still in that younger demographic, pretty much the whole line is accessible to younger folks. The Scion, it seems, not so much. Imagine if Chevy were a sub-brand of Buick or Cadillac, and you get the and idea of the image “overhead” or sub-message that’s coming across.

        The last thing any young people want to do is to be their parents. (The last thing most people want to do is to be their parents!) The Scion feels like a shadow of Toyota and all that it implies: i.e. older people’s cars, family cars, mortgages and children toting appliances. The Kia and it’s rapping hamsters are all the things younger folks want, fun, little cost, little responsibility, and flexibility.

        Or at least from what I remember of being young back in the last century…

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Ahhh, but the Kia Soul spokesrodents are going directly after Scion (among others) in that ad with the multiple metaphors of the competitors being hampster wheels, toasters on wheels, washing machines on wheels, a bland cardboard box on wheels, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        I’m not sure there should be a chronological age attached to the “youth” market. I think there are older buyers with youthful attitudes. I’m sure there are 70 year olds that wouldn’t be caught dead in something stodgy and prefer muscle cars etc. I see them all the time.

        Personally, if i was going to build a youth market vehicle, I’d go as cheap as possible. I’d go the enclosed three wheeled motorcycle route. Sort of a Morgan Three Wheeler, but with better weather protection, maybe more space, and as cheap of a price as I could set it at. I’d use as many off the shelf bike components as possible. Sell it as a motorcycle to avoid the certification issues and costs associated with cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        @mcs
        I’m not sure about the motorcycle thing, as insurance companies have to go along or nobody can buy it. Even motorcycles have to be insured.

        You are right in that many in the younger generation think about cars and places to live very differently. This leaves room for some different vehicle concepts more suited to urban driving. A three seater with front seats offset a few inches from each other along the car’s length comes to my mind. They may also find electric cars to fit their lives well.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Stop applying your own logic to everyone else. Scion has the highest market share in that age range, it’s just that everyone in that age range is poor. Do you have enough money to buy a new car yourself right now? Maybe, but at 22 I was just finishing college and in no shape to blow $20K on a car.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m talking about what I’ve seen. People my age who do have money that I’ve talked to tend not to buy Scions. People who don’t tend either to (if they don’t have the money) take whatever they can get or (if they have just enough) get a vehicle that they like, and often that tends to be a vehicle like a Subaru, a Cherokee, or something that they think is cool.

        The point of my post is not to say people my own age never buy Scions, tekdemon, it’s to argue we’re not stupid enough to buy a car because of an advertising campaign. We will buy Fiestas, Focuses, Fortes, or Souls depending on our individual preferences, and based either on what we think is cool or what we can afford/need.

        Did I argue, with all that, that the reason that people my age don’t buy Scions because they’re boring? Yes I did, because they’re as boring as any other economy car in their price range, including the Soul and Forte and Fiesta, and there are cars that are just as good (or better) in that price range, too. If people my age do buy them, it’s because of what they are: Cheap, simple economy cars and because the car fulfilled a need. Advertising doesn’t always come into play.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @Luigian: You mentioned what you and your friends *want*, but what do you and your friends actually buy?

      • 0 avatar

        @Luke42: My mother bought me an old $4500 Mercury Mystique LS, I’ve been driving it since 2004, using money from my father’s life insurance to replace a dying ’87 Jeep Cherokee. Another friend of mine (23 y.o.) owned a Ford F-150, just switched over to a Dodge Ram, owns a Jeep Liberty for his wife. Another (my wealthiest friend) owns a newer Chrysler Sebring (his father owns a Chrysler dealership). I also know another person who bought a Subaru WRX.

        Another friend of mine from school owns an old VW Beetle, and her boyfriend has an early 2000s Toyota Tundra. Another owns a very old (and very used) Ford Bronco. The leader of our local chapter AIAS owns a Jeep Commander and the president owns a Nissan 370Z. Riding home from a work session for sustainability studies, I rode back with the others in a Toyota Prius.

        I’m always curious to know what kind of car people drive, so it’s one of the things I ask for small talk (some may say it’s rude, feh to them). Often, they say they own an old Toyota hardbody pickup, or an old car of some other kind. The parking lots at my school are littered with cars of all sizes, shapes, and brands. It’s hard to find two cars of the same model.

        Like I already said my chief point regarded the fact that most of my generation don’t choose the Scion on the basis that it’s boring, adding that those that could afford one don’t want vehicles like the TC or xB, and choose a variety of different models whether they’re going new or used. Rich kids go for expensive cars from the Commander to 370Z (duh), the sort-of-upper-ups choose from the plethora of models out there that are low to midrange (Fiestas, Subarus, etc.), middle ground buys newer-used cars of various types (no clue if they chose them or not, but I’m assuming many at least get something of a choice in what kind of car they want considering they’re college students) and then of course many who struggle go for very old cars (the one I mentioned who owns a VW Beetle was homeless for many years and has now worked extremely hard to get into school and get a good education.)

        I’ve been extremely fortunate, and yet, yes, I admit I couldn’t afford a Scion. But even if I could afford one, I wouldn’t buy one. I’ve been intrigued with Souls, and the Suzuki SX4, which are similarly priced, but I think I speak for most of my generation when I say I don’t buy based on advertising, and I don’t give a damn (and don’t think many do) about Soul’s hamster campaign, or Honda’s new Civic campaign with its zombies and weird girl-monsters and what have you. I don’t think many people care, and certainly wouldn’t buy a car based on the ads. Scions just aren’t that special, and my point is that it seems often like Toyota thinks it can sell Scions as “hip” and “for young people” on ads alone. Toyota can try to advertise with campaigns all they want and try to be “hip” and “cool” and trendy and young or they can try to woo older Millennials or do whatever they want with Scion, and the plain fact hiding behind all that advertising is that all those Scions are still Toyotas.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Well let’s see how does this market to “older Americans”? The Zeus in the ad is a bit of a grey-beard and he does have a hot younger chick so maybe the intent is to market to these guys… the male equivelent of a “cougar”. (Hey at least they’ve got enough money to buy a car.)

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      That was exactly my thinking.

      The Scion brand is in essence a marketing program for old(er) people based on the false premise of catering to the young.

      In otherwords, this is not your father’s Oldsmobile (or Toyota).

      • 0 avatar
        Philosophil

        I would consider a Scion XB for my next commuter, but not because it appeals to any desire to appear young and virile (though I’m sure some here will claim otherwise). I see it as a very practical, reasonably dependable wagon that you can get with basic technologies that also has reasonably easy ingress and egress (which is a big thing for me). It’s very much like a Soul in that you don’t have to climb in it, nor do you flop down into it, you just slide across and the seat is there. I see it as a kind of Venza for more budget-minded (and visibility desiring) older folk.

    • 0 avatar
      panzerfaust

      I don’t get the ad either. Its not clever, its not funny its dumb. I’v seen cars sold with everything from sex to space aliens, but Zeus? Maybe that’s the “Z” in A to Z for Scion.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        As an oldie, the ad does not speak to me at all. It does not motivate me to run out and buy a Scion of any kind. Oldies do not see themselves as old and are motivated by the same intelligent, clever ads that appeal to people of all ages.

        The best ads that spoke to me and motivated me to buy a product were, of all things, the counter ads of Ford, GM and Dodge, comparing themselves to the 2007/2008/2009 Tundra. In essence I understood the ads to say that Ford, GM and Dodge trucks could do anything that the Tundra could do.

        And that made me wonder why any manufacturer would take the time and effort to tell us they were as good or better than the Tundra, unless the Tundra was something they were worried about.

        And that made me go out and compare my F150 and my old Silverado against a Tundra. The rest is history.

        The Scion brand must sell in Southern California because they don’t even have a Scion dealership within a 100 miles of my location. Scion dealerships are few and far between.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    @dlj

    Thanks for the link. Lot’s of interesting data there.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Hmmm…my wife is 45 and just bought a 2011 Scion tC as her first-ever new car. The ads didn’t play into the decision at all, as she was rather unaware of Scion as a “brand” to begin with. We had intentionally stayed away from Toyota as most of their cars (Corolla, Camry) simply did not appeal to us in any way, shape or form. But having seen a few of them out on the road, she was interested enough to test drive one and loved it. The fact that in the end, it IS a Toyota in the skin does help when it comes to not really worrying about the reliability. Having said that though, I’d have been just as happy if they had rolled the tC into Toyota’s line up and called it a Celica..at least then Toyota-proper would have had a car worth our time to look at. The rest of the marketing angle just doesn’t make sense to me at all…

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Scion has been pretty consistent at being toward the bottom of the quality pile, depending on which data you look at. The 2011 Scion is based on some newer technology (not a bad thing). The ye’ ol’ two-four-oh and 4-speed auto in the xB is as dependable as a sunrise.

      • 0 avatar
        Canuck129

        Perhaps initial quality has been lower than the rest of the Toyota line-up, but it seems as though the reliability numbers on models like the Xb are at or near the top… Perhaps it is a different demographic noticing different things?

  • avatar
    econobiker

    At least the Scion “target marketed to young people” product is purchased by anyone versus the Pontiac Aztec…

  • avatar
    anchke

    “Auto Row” in my town is just a mile or so away from me. Couple of the sales staff tolerate my visits and requests for unaccompanied test drives on quiet afternoons.

    While ago, I went out in a little Scion coups. It was obviously intended for a high school graduation present. Probably by HS students. Pros: it had a very utilitarian hatch .. it came with a DIY transmission … fuel economy looked okay .. it was kinda peppy … it was cheap. Cons — the interior wasn’t just dark, it was a black hole … the styling had a Look-At-Me!!! cheesiness … it had about 2X more radio than it needed … with those low profile tires I can’t iagine the wheels surviving their first New England winter. In short, my .02 is that Toyota would have been better off producing a useful hatchback coupe and then offering after market add-ons for the Young-Men-Who-Wear-Their-Caps-Backward crowd.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I liked this Scion promotion more: Scion Tc on Frisky Dingo.

    /Not unemployed

  • avatar
    13withinfinity

    I’m probably one of the fifteen people under 25 that own a 2011 tC and I do have to say, I get a ton of compliments on the car. I’ve got it in Cement and everytime I’m at the pump somebody is always hounding me about it. So, really, I don’t think it’s all that boring in the end.. I love the car to death, certainly meets all my needs as a working 24 year old (and an avid party-goer)

    Granted.. I got lucky and got into the judicial system early on, so I guess I’m not doing half bad money wise for a 24 year old, especially in this economy.

    Needless to say, it was never the advertising that got me into the car.. I was actually put off by it. But I walked into the dealership looking at an older Lancer Evo they had on the lot, and they pretty much offered the same deal on the 2011 and a 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty for free. They seriously wanted to get rid of all Scions they had on the lot, lol. Either way, I don’t regret it. It turned out to be a very positive car that I enjoy alot.

  • avatar
    shaker

    For some reason (that would escape everyone) when I saw this ad, I thought of the old SNL skit with Bill Murray playing an elderly Hercules… maybe the ad should have shown him loading “a smaller stone” into the hatch of the tC.

    The tC was originally a “special” little car, but the update (though it has many improvements) is more anonymous. What Scion relies on is that the “utes” who buy it add a crapload of overpriced dealer items to personalize the car; but that can get very expensive, very quickly. I’m willing to bet that “kids” (and their parents) have stepped into a dealer (attracted by the low base price) only to walk out when a “personality” cost 2-3k more.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    If Zeus had a crown, he’d look like Burger King.


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