A dealer attending Toyota’s U.S. dealer meeting in Atlanta earlier this month has told the Automotive News that the automaker is now letting its dealers drop underperforming Scion franchises without any penalties. Those dealers that keep their Scion stores open will likely get two new products that were teased at the convention. Toyota Senior Vice President Bob Carter declined comment though he hinted at changes, “We’re not ready to go public with that yet.” Toyota Division General Manager Bill Fay recently told WardsAuto that Scion “has a few too many stores.”
About 80% of Toyota’s 1,225 U.S. dealers also have a Scion franchise, about 30% more than Toyota anticipated when it launched the youth-oriented entry level brand a decade ago. Scion sales in the U.S. peaked at 173,034 three years later but deliveries have dropped significantly since than. Other than the FR-S sports car that is sold as the Toyota GT86 outside the U.S. (and also as a Subaru) the current Scion lineup is aging and there has been little news forthcoming about revised or new product.
Earlier this year, at the Geneva auto show, Toyota revealed a convertible version of the GT86, called the FT86 concept. At the Atlanta meetings, dealers were shown the same concept badged as a Scion FR-S. Carter said the FR-S convertible “is under study but has not been green-lighted.” Toyota/Scion dealers were also shown a sketch of a subcompact CUV that one dealer described as having a “racy silhouette”. A Toyota source said that it would slot in below the Toyota RAV4 and compete with Honda’s upcoming Fit based CUV.