By on September 14, 2015

porsche scion

Only seven years removed from selling more than 100,000 cars in the United States, Scion’s current woes are more easily understood by looking at the brands which now outsell Toyota’s “youth” brand.

One such Scion-besting automaker: Porsche.

Rewind just one year and Scion, through the first eight months of 2014, was outselling Porsche by 10,000 units. Yet in the first eight months of 2015, Scion only outsold Porsche three times — in February, March, and May — and trails Porsche by nearly 2,200 sales heading into September.

Porsche is certainly not a Scion rival. Even the FR-S, Scion’s most costly car, costs only half as much as Porsche’s least expensive car, a basic, un-optioned Boxster. (Is there even such a thing?)

But the change in order speaks volumes about Porsche’s steady climb to record highs and the fall of Scion, the latter of which saw its share of the U.S. market fall by 73 percent, from 1.04 percent in 2006 to 0.28 percent in 2015.

2015 Porsche Macan Turbo

Indeed, the change in order – Porsche ranks 29th among auto brands in U.S. year-to-date sales; Scion 30th – is unprecedented.

Other than Scion’s launch year of 2003, when Porsche sold twice as many vehicles as upstart Scion’s 10,898 units, Porsche has never outsold the Toyota sub-brand. Even in 2010 and 2011, when the market was slowly rebounding from a disastrous 2009, as Porsche volume jumped 29 percent and 15 percent respectively, Scion’s severe slowdowns following its 2009 performance still didn’t put the two brands within shouting distance of one another.

However, 2015 plays host to record Porsche sales. Porsche’s car lineup is fading, in keeping with the market’s turn away from passenger cars. But so great is the boost provided by the Macan that the degree to which it’s eaten into Cayenne volume — Cayenne sales are down 7% — is meaningless given the extra volume provided by the smaller SUV.

Compared with the first eight months of 2014, during which the Macan was only on sale for four, Porsche has added 3,117 U.S. sales in 2015, including 5,174 additional Macan sales.

Scion, which offers no utility vehicles and derives the majority of its volume from two-door cars in a coupe-averse era, is down 22% this year.

There are other major factors at play in Toyota’s Scion stores. The iQ, intended to provide a more practical alternative to the Smart Fortwo, never caught on. Discontinued now, sales are down 72 percent in 2015. Similarly, the second-generation xB simply didn’t produce the demand created by the first-gen model. Nevertheless, in clear-out mode, xB sales are actually up this year, albeit by a modest 1 percent. The xD, a successor to the xA, is a cancelled model that suffered an 87 percent drop through the first eight months of 2015.

2006 Scion xB

Therefore, Scion is between jobs, relying on defunct nameplates to generate scant volume as the brand awaits the arrival of its first sedan, the iA, and the a more conventional hatchback with the iM.

As if the comparison wasn’t ideal to begin with because of the brands’ respective modi operandi, it’s made all the less fair because of the transition through which Scion is currently wending its way.

2016 Scion iA

Scion was once cause for industry observers to laud Toyota’s foresight. Now Scion is the cause of Toyota-directed criticism because of corporate neglect. This is the reason Scion becomes a story; not because a luxury SUV and sports car builder sells more vehicles, but because the brand once known for unique automobiles is launching a rebadged Mazda sedan and a Toyota Auris hatchback in hopes of restoring former glory.

Scion may well sell more copies of the iA and iM than the iQ, xD, and xB managed in the recent past. It will be difficult not to — so low was the volume produced by that trio, so impressive is the value quotient in the newest Scions.

2015_NYIAS_Scion_iM_005

But we must always compare likely reports of a Scion “rebound” not with the recent past but in contrast to the age in which Scion was most successful. Since 2009, Scion has averaged fewer than 4,900 monthly U.S. sales, down from 12,000 monthly sales between 2005 and 2008, when Scion’s lineup was smaller and Toyota understood exactly what potential Scion customers wanted. There will be a small market for the iA in 2016, yet as subcompacts fade fast from the wish lists of modern American car buyers we’ll look back and realize how out of character it would have been, in 2006, for Scion to release an utterly conventional small sedan.

Granted, in 2006, we weren’t even remotely capable of forecasting that Porsche would sell more than twice as many Macans in America as they do Boxsters and Caymans combined. The vehicle from which the Macan is derived, Audi’s Q5, was still three years away from launching.

Times change. So do tastes. We know Porsches whet your appetite, but will Scions ever again cause your mouth to water?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

78 Comments on “Porsche Is Now Outselling Scion – Will Scion Ever Come Back?...”


  • avatar
    vagvoba

    It is a mistake to see any correlation between Porsche and Scion (inverse or otherwise). Virtually no one cross-shops between the two brands, so the sales of one doesn’t effect the other. If Porsche sales are up, good for them, but it didn’t make Scion sales go down. Scion have only themselves to blame.
    This makes the whole article pointless. It’s like saying that dumper trucks are now outselling Lotuses.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      The comparison is interesting, because one would ordinarily think that a Cheap-and-Cheerful mass-market Toyota offshoot would sell quite a lot more cars than an aspirational luxury brand, which is not thought of as a high-volume market.

      The article doesn’t pretend that Porsche sales have taken away from Scion sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      We call them dump trucks. And they’re definitely outselling Lotuses.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        I honestly cant see how anyone could come to the conclusion from that article that there is any correlation between the rise of Porsche and the fall of Scion.

        Rather you should compare and contrast what background factors in both marketing AND market have lead to these two unrelated outcomes.

        Cynically one could argue that the rise of Porsche and the fall of Scion reflects the changing inequalities of income.

        • 0 avatar

          “Cynically one could argue that the rise of Porsche and the fall of Scion reflects the changing inequalities of income.”

          I think that would be a stretch as Scion certainly isn’t representative of the market.

          It would be a nearer stretch to make the case that Porsche (and virtually every other brand) has what Scion doesn’t: crossovers and SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          jrasero23

          Nothing but more of comparison of how a niche sports car that sells paltry numbers but sky high margins sells more than a faux youth brand

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        If I built a car in my shed and sold it for $12, I would move more units than Lotus in the US.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    No. Refer to Geo as an example of a brand within a brand. Doesn’t work.

    Comparatively, Porsche is an aspirational brand. Very few cars in the market say ‘I’ve made it’ than Porsche. Similar to BMW in the 90’s and earlier. The downside of their success will be similar to what we say of BMW now. The public, the dealers etc will continue to expect higher volumes and models that are more affordable so everyone can own a Porsche. The hardest part for VAG will be keeping the VAG gremlins out, and high lease residuals in these new Porsches’ so the new converts will be willing to purchase another.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I remain baffled as to why Toyota insists on keeping them as a separate brand. Their cars would be perfectly fine as Toyotas, and having some products that were NOT just competent appliances might make their cars overall attractive to more people.

    That said, Toyota’s continued high sales (despite the lack of a single vehicle with two doors) must mean they are doing something right. Maybe they just don’t need “sporty”, or “youthful” cars at all to be successful, and they should just abandon that market.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      If they offered these cars as Toyotas, they’d need trimlines. It is very likely that one thing that keeps Scion viable in Toyota’s eyes is the fact that they keep manufacturing lean. Pick your color and your transmission.

      I think the iM and iA have the potential to sell well. The challenge is going to be showing how well equipped they are for the money versus the competition that has a lower starting price but goes higher when comparably equipped.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        iM and iA will not sell well.

        They may sell initially well with early demand but will fall off quickly.

        Target market buyers don’t want 5-door hatches or 4-door B-segment sedans. They want CUV/SUV.

        Look at the explosion of B-segment based CUVs. The Sonic sales collapsed hand-in-hand with the arrival of the Trax on the Chevrolet showroom. The data plays it out – it’s pretty stunning actually.

        It appears now that the HR-V has been out for a few months the exact same thing has happened to its platform mate Fit. Fit sales are down, and the delta between the two is close to HR-V volume.

        The problem isn’t Sonic or Fit – the problem is buyers don’t want Sonics and Fits.

        Scion needs an CUV – and then they’d have a home run. Instead they’ve killed off the closest thing to a CUV in the xB and replaced it with a Matrix – that never sold in any volume in the first place.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        There’s no reason Toyota couldn’t do that. For example, I think the xM would sell far more copies if it were badged Corolla Hatchback. Instead of having L/LE/LE Eco/S/SE models, just have LE for the hatch and be done with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Scion is not a brand. It should not be evaluated as a brand.

      It has a few basic purposes: to attract younger customers into Toyota showrooms, to experiment with Japanese sales tactics on an American audience and to create a funnel for younger buyers to buy other Toyotas.

      It does have relatively young buyers, although not many of them, so that aspect of its efforts may be working to some degree.

      I don’t have the data for the other two points. But the articles about it consistently miss those points, and those are the questions that should be asked.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Poor leadership when it comes to Scion. They could have had some winners in their lineup. Look at the iM. If Scion added awd it would be great alternative to the Impreza wagon. The underpowered claustrophobic FR-s another good example.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      toyotas portfolio is huge.

      scions are monospec models of world cars in niches that are not known for huge volume

      maybe the author could find out where the models are made and give worldwide sales figures.

      example: fr-s/br-z/ft86 all called the 86

      how many sold world wide?
      what are sales trends for ALL toyota 86 cars?

      thats the real issue, but everyone is too amerocentric regarding this.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    “Porsche’s car lineup is fading, in keeping with the market’s turn away from passenger cars.” Not sure I would use the word fading. There is no change in models and if anything there are more varaiants and options than ever.

    “..but will Scions ever again cause your mouth to water?” Never really did.

    There is of course no relationship between the two. Scion was build to appeal to a segment. The problem of course is that most other car manufacturers also compete in that same space. They are unique in name only from the causal observer.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Porsche’s car sales are down 8% in 2015 in the U.S.

      Scions obviously did something for somebody at some point.

      “Porsche is certainly not a Scion rival.”

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        Agree sales are slower this year. But the “car lineup” is more robust than ever. Last I checked there are more variants of the 911 sold than ever before. Same for the Cayman.

  • avatar

    I can’t even with these basic Boxters.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    Scion could be destined to become the Saturn of this decade. But there could be hope yet. The Scion iM may yet be a reason for me to actually step foot in a Scion dealership.

    • 0 avatar

      The difference is Saturn had, at one point, a very loyal — almost borderline rabid — following of buyers because of the brand culture. Scion has nothing like that at all.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Wasn’t there a group of fanatical people that were all about the box Scions?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Right, but as I recall, I don’t think Scion has ever had any vehicle that sold anywhere near the volumes that Saturns did.

          Didn’t the Saturn crack the top ten sellers’ list during the 1990s? I seem to remember that being so.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Saturn’s peak was in 1994 with 286K cars sold in the US (per to Automobile magazine. Wikipedia shows that more S-series vehicles were made in 1995 and 1997). That was around 3% market share. Scion’s best year was 2006 with 173K sales and 2.2% market share. Saturn did that with just the S-series though.

            The Saturn S-series was more successful than Scion. I don’t know about the rest of the rebadges that GM turned Scion into.

        • 0 avatar
          Zackman

          “Wasn’t there a group of fanatical people that were all about the box Scions?”

          Yes – ex-milkmen.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      I was thinking the same thing (Scion vs. Saturn)… the parallels are pretty close.

      I cannot figure why the iM isn’t going to be sold as a Toyota; seems like a pretty straightforward Matrix replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        The comparison to Saturn is rally not relevant. Saturn had its own dealer network and you did not need it have a GM store. Scion is attached to Toyota dealerships and the dealership has the option to include in the imaging within their facility to allow them to put scions on the lot. Killing scion off is far cheaper than killing off Saturn or hummer, Oldsmobile etc as you are closing a network of dealerships.

        I will go out on a limb here….their is not one Toyota dealership that will close due to the loss of the scion brand in their showroom. For many, it will take several months before the sales staff even notices.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      only if you miss the matrix.

  • avatar

    Germany’s success in the premium car segment in particular is the stuff journalists, management gurus etc. should write about. Observe and learn. No government bailouts, no strategy upon strategies or silly excuses that “this time it will be better”. I believe Germany’s car industry made a consistent 50-60 billion euro annually over the last couple of years, still expanding market share in the U.S. You might conclude that the only thing Detroit has to do is replace management, and hire a couple of Germans, perhaps Japanese.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I can disprove that in two words:

      Daimler Chrysler

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        does Voyager realize that Scion is part of Toyota, which is Japanese?

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        See also: Smart

        And to a small extent Mini as well. While Mini certainly is still doing alright, its recent identity crisis is starting to show is effect with several of its extreme niche vehicles dying after just a single short cycle. Add to that spotty reliability and sales trending the wrong way, and you’ve got another “premium” German brand with somewhat poor management.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The German car industry is just nativist European consumers and brilliant American/Chinese marketing. The German manufacturers don’t engineer particularly good cars anymore, and they still can’t design a proper electrical system after 40 years of trying.

      Europeans are still world-class coach builders. That’s it. Germans build a better rolling sofa.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    I thought the iA might have some enthusiast appeal, being a reskinned Mazda 2. But then I checked AutoTrader. 20 iAs are available in Columbus, OH. Guess how many of them have manual transmissions?

    Zero.

    So who are they hoping to sell iAs to? Non-enthusiasts are still going to buy the Versa, which is bigger and cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      This, right here. Scion’s pricing schema assumes that the competition won’t sell below sticker (or shoppers are too stupid to figure it out), when almost all of them do.

      It even extends to the BRZ/FR-S. In most of the country you can get a BRZ Limited for barely more than the FR-S, which aligns with the BRZ Premium (and even then is missing a few features).

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      But remember, as covered here on TTAC over and over again. Who is the real customer? The dealer – and the dealer is going to stock inventory they can turn, and that inventory is going to have slush boxes.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Scion is a godsend for used car buyers. Toyota reliability without inflated prices due to the badge.

    There could be a second-gen xB in my future. We will see…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    No CUVs = no success for Scion.

    Why not bring out some small, sporty Matrix-like vehicles? Lord knows if it’s sporty, it won’t sell as a Toyota.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    the youth (18-29) market is dead unless a parent co-signs, blame post-secondary education costs.

    1. the $2000 that Jr. would’ve used as a down payment has gone to books, tuition.

    2. The local factory doesn’t hired unskilled people straight out of high school and more so it’s off to college or a trade school, see #1.

    3. As a stop gap, working in retail, food, etc. barely makes ends meet (rent, insurance, saving etc) so no money left over for a down payment.

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    Scion fails because of a number of reasons. Just a few are, one, their target market…which was supposed to be these young millenials we always here about…don’t buy cars, at least not new ones….preferring failed GM offerings like the Aztek apparently (how’s that for irony). Second, like someone stated earlier, all of their offerings are small cars. Americans are fat, in general. Obese fat. Obese fatties cannot fit in small cars comfortably, end of story. If you don’t offer cars that meet the general public’s standards…you will fail.

    How to turn things around….Scion can start making “My big fat ass” edition Scions. Rebadge Land Cruisers and Avalons and call them Scion XXXL (nomenclature the target market is used to), and offer free buffet at every dealership with a purchase of new scion.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    FYI on AutoTrader (within 300 miles of where I sit) I see Scion FR-S being advertised for a bit under $24,000. That is for the bare bones manual trans version but hey, we’re enthusiasts so that is the version we would want anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      jrasero23

      lol, for the heck of it I checked out what a CPO FRS would be and your right it’s in the low to mid twenties, now the FRS is a cool car but the interior is so cheap and the cars lacks torque. For $24k I can name you a handful(s) of car new and used I would rather have.

      Now are the new Scion’s value oriented yes, but like I posted before my generation (millennials) are into prestige and renting rather than owning so having the chance the lease a 3 series rather than buying a $20k car is appealing to many. Another one guy posted how 40+ people were buying Scions which now makes sense since to them someone at that age is more into ownership, reliability, MPG, and value.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Scion is dead. It will never return to former glory, it will never even come close. Maintaining the brand at this point is either an exercise in futility or an exercise in hubris. That really depends on why Toyota doesn’t just mercy kill the brand at this point.

    I’ve wondered if franchise laws make this difficult but that seems like a non-starter. There is no such thing as a stand alone Scion dealer, to the best of my knowledge. It seems killing the brand from a legality stand point wouldn’t be an issue – no dealer doesn’t exist and it’s hear impossible to argue the Scion brand is stronger than Toyota.

    The product line up was utterly ignored for too long. the xB controlled the box on wheels market, heck invented it. Kia now owns that market with a an iron grip in the Soul, that is incredibly well marketed (hate the hamsters or not) and well packaged with what buyers want. Don’t think so – look at the sales numbers the last five years.

    The FR-S is a flop. There is just no arguing against that at this point. The car has quality issues, a lousy, wonky torque curve, horrible interior materials, never lived up to the Jesus hype, nor the predictions by a handful in the B&B of killing the Camaro and Mustang. It came in over priced from Toyota’s initial target.

    The tC is the only glimmering red dwarf star in the line up, but that is selling at only a fraction of what it once moved at. Lets see, the competition for a FWD 4-banger two door hatch style coupe is the Civic and the…well no wonder it sells. If you want a back to the 80s style car this is about the only game in town.

    The iQ should have never launched in the US. Certainly not at its insanely high price point, which doomed the product. Today with gasoline hovering around $2.40 a gallon national average it makes even less sense.

    The xD was equally neglected and outdated as the xB was. The offerings in the B-segment from almost every maker ran the xD over.

    the iM is answering a question no one asked. Buyers don’t want 5-door cars. Look at Honda and Chevrolet. With the introduction of the HR-V and the Trax respectively, their platform mate 5-doors (4 door optional in the case of the Sonic) have taken a dive – almost unit for unit on what is moving in the CUV. Buyers don’t want cars today.

    The iA is the only interesting thing in the line up – and really should be called Yaris – and comes from Mazda.

    There isn’t a 1:1 parallel between Scion and Saturn or Scion and Geo — but there is a lot in common.

    This experiment has failed, sales continue to decline, the brand is completely neglected.

    Call the FR-S a Celica.

    Call the tC a Corolla Coupe (ya I know, it isn’t the same platform, you really think the average Toyota buyer understands that?!?!)

    Call the iA a Yaris and kill the current Yaris – because they’d sell a lot more.

    Call the iM what it is – a Matrix.

    Kill the rest, kill the brand, profit.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      The FR-S was never going to be a Camaro or Mustang killer in sales. It follows the exact sales curve of other tiny, sporty cars like the Miata, 350Z/370Z, and RX-8. Hot for 18 months and then pretty heavy decline. No one ever expected the FR-S to be anywhere near the pony cars. The fact that Subaru and Toyota haven’t carved out additional capacity from the factory (that is at capacity also building the Forester, Impreza, and WRX) for a higher performance model or a convertible proves that this was very likely an expected trend. The simple fact is that there is a very small segment for which the FR-S/BRZ even makes sense considering the size of the car, the cost of entry, and the narrow performance focus on handling.

      As an aside, 7 of the top 12 (winner included) in the SCCA Street C Nationals this year were FR-S. STS was 5 of the top 6 covered by the BRZ and FR-S, including the winner. The results are loaded top to bottom with these cars. They’ve clearly achieved the goal of bringing some excitement back to the brand. How many people, 5 years ago, thought that a Scion would be performing so well on a national stage?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …No one ever expected the FR-S to be anywhere near the pony cars…

        No one within the confines of the auto industry – but there were plenty of declarations of this being a Mustang/Camaro slayer, and when people tried to explain that the number of cross shoppers of Camaro – Mustang – FR-S could be counted on one hand…oh my, RAGE.

        LLN was full of it.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      why?

      you bring all those niche vehicles under the already bloated toyota umbrella and they will sell even less.

      dealers are going to want trim packages which adds complexity to manufacturing and sales.

      toyota killed the venza for a reason

  • avatar
    Ianw33

    The problem, in my eyes, is that Scion abandoned the market it created.

    The 1st gen Xb was a hit, people still wax nostalgic about that car. it was affordable, hugely practical, and looked different than most other cars out there. One could argue that scion started the funky looking small utility vehicle craze.

    Then for some reason, scion decided to their successful unique vehicle vanilla. Then other manufactures realized they could do funky small cars as well (queue the Soul, Juke, Renegade, etx).

    In a few short years, Scion made itself irrelevant from the trend it started.

    Now they only product they have that is compelling is a small rwd coupe, a low volume proposition by nature. I respect the car, but Scion did compromise the car like they do with most of their products, they stop just short of making their car’s the full package.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    What’s going on with Scion is a rerun episode of what happened to Saturn a few years ago. Too little too late= a brand image that few aspire to own.

    Unless we see a major spike in gas prices, I doubt the upcoming crop of Scion products will move the needle back into the green.

    It’s hard to make a case for buying a Scion with gas prices at record lows and Cadillac advertising ATS leases for $299/month. Not to mention with every CPO program out there, a lot of people would rather fork out the cash for the 3-4 yo BMW or Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      jrasero23

      I was going to say Pontiac but Saturn is probably more dead on. A car company that has one truly exciting car (Saturn Sky Scion FRS), but the rest was junk.

      I will say a 3-4 year old BMW is still at least $25k and that is for maybe a 1 Series which is now disc. But you bring up a great point. These so called young people (millennials) aren’t buying as much anymore so a sub $20k doesn’t matter since more and more are leasing. Buy a $20k iA or for the same price drive a Cadillac ATS or BMW 2/3 series, Acura ILX/TLX, ect. I know this sounds crazy but Scion needs to go more upscale and charge more.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Any brand without brand values is doomed and Scion has had no coherent values since it launched the original xB. They just have become an outlet for slow selling Toyota products.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I think Scion’s problems start first and foremost with fuel economy, or lack thereof. The TC was eliminated from my shopping list by its dismal 23/31 rating, despite the fact that it’s 3 door hatch, available stick shift, and Toyota provenance (ie likely reliability) made it catch my eye. Indeed, it is pretty darn close to a car I would’ve loved, which was a hatchback stickshift Camry. I’m kinda glad the IA is only available in 4 door form, because I’d be kicking myself a bit for not waiting for it to come out had it been a hatchback as well. The iM would’ve caught my attention as I crossed the Corolla off my shopping list as a consequence of its lack of a hatchback, but it’s quite pricey.

    The downfall of the XB is another fun case study. my sister would’ve been a prime candidate for the original XB when she was car shopping a few years ago. She wanted a roomy practical box on wheels for her Great Dane to travel in but wanted good fuel economy to alleviate her pain at not getting the minivan she really wanted. The Xb’s relative lack of space despite its profile and comparatively poor fuel economy sent her straight to the Honda dealer where she bought her beloved Fit.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Scion became geezer bait when marketed at young buyers. Now that Scion is just a geezer car, geezers are moving on and spread out.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “when Scion’s lineup was smaller and Toyota understood exactly what potential Scion customers wanted”

    I’m not so sure such a time ever existed. Even in 2005, when I got my xB1 at the age of 41, industry observers were remarking how Scion’s buyers were substantially older the the young hip crowd they were targeting. It turned out that older buyers loved the simplicity and low price of the Scion lineup (and in the case of the xB1, its utility), without all the bling of other makes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/03/automobiles/the-car-is-for-kids-but-gramps-is-driving.html?_r=0

    So for the xB2, Scion added the engine power and bling they thought their customers wanted, and sales nosedived.

    No, I don’t think Toyota has ever really known how to manage Scion. It’s amazing that the same company could get Lexus’ marketing so right, but Scion’s so wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      jrasero23

      Funny you posted this. It’s maybe true. Two guys in their late 40’s-early 50’s have FRs on my block, maybe it’s their midlife crisis pseudo sports car? Another who is at least late 30’s owns a XB and has two kids. I agree Toyota has nailed Lexus and even when they started to be called an old mans car they pivoted and switched to more dramatic styling and pseudo sports car feel with their terrible F series. On the other hand you have Scion which I believe always based itself on the Fast and Furious culture of styling and modding your car for young adults. The problem is that even the characters in the current Fast and Furious movies don’t drive riced out Celicas or Civics anymore but Lamborghini and Ferrari. And that’s the problem Scion never evolved and pivoted quick enough. I think now with the iA and iM they are going for set prices and standard trim levels that give a heck of a lot of features for the money but honestly I think the brand recognition damage has been done. I see Scion as the afterthought of Toyota, a brand that made cheap underwhelming cars that never lived up to the customization or performance hopes we all wanted

  • avatar
    mchan1

    “Porsche is certainly not a Scion rival.”

    What’s the point of writing such a useless article?!

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    As a current member of the “youth” I can honestly tell you nothing makes me cringe quite like hearing a company say “youth-oriented” or “youthful” yuck, it just feels so fake. It feels like the times when I was in high school and my dad tried(and failed) to be cool around my friends.
    I get that there more likely going for people who just want their car purchase to make them feel young and not the actual young, but still is there really that big of a market for that? And that’s not even counting the fact that they don’t even have close to a full lineup of cars. It’s kind of a non-story that Porsche is beating them in sales numbers.

  • avatar
    Chan

    We almost bought a new xB in 2013 in advance of our first child. My wife, who typically just wants a car that’s functional and safe, and typically does not care about interior style, hated the interior style.

    It’s stale and low-grade. The platform is solid–nobody else in this segment offers 70 cubes of max cargo.

    Nobody else offers a 2.4L subcompact boxy hatchback, but the transmission needs more gears for highway fuel economy.

    The thing has so many class-exclusives but also so many old deal-breakers. It’s so unfortunate that Toyota lets its once-great products rot like this.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      The second xB was uncompetitive when it launched, and the only reason people bought it at all over the Element was that fifth seatbelt.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        DJ, as someone who owns an Element and an xB I can say they’re close on paper but very different in person. xB is a much better highway cruiser, the Honda can haul way more stuff and handle roads that would scrape the heck out of xB’s undercarriage.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Indeed, I was surprised to see that the xB still has a 4-speed slushbox, it has to be one of the last hold outs. I don’t get the hate for the interior, it’s pretty plain but in $17K car, meh. I’d like to see them rework the gauges so they’re not centered.

      Still, not sure anything could save it in an era when people who need family cars don’t want to be seen driving family cars so they buy mini faux-Suburbans.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        You can also get a Yaris or a Corolla with a 4 speed automatic. Toyota is the only manufacturer still selling those ancient slush boxes, but they are selling them in multiple related models.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      $ per cubic foot of interior room really cant be beat.

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    This explains the new Scion no haggle pricing and them introducing the more fuel minded iA and iM cars. This is a shame since I remember when Scion first launched and my high school friend got a TC. The dealer was telling him Toyota would* come out with turbo charging kits and all these cool mods. Well between the decline of the Fast and the Furious culture, the economy tanking in 2008, young adults wanting different things now a days. Toyota is betting heavily on features and price which explains why their Scion’s have a no haggle price and come in a single trim level with some pretty impressive standard features or a budget minded car. It’s a shame because the iA based on the Mazda 3 has huge potential and the iM could have been x20 more exciting.

    so getting back to Porsche, this is just really a slap in the face for Toyota and more so Scion who are supposed to be volume leaders. Honestly the only reason I would buy a Scion if they made more cars like the FR-S or iA but again these were car that Subaru and Mazda built, instead we have the XB and antiquated TC

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    kinda weird that whatever slow selling car toyota drops usually comes back as a monospec scion to refill that niche.

    celica? tC
    matrix? iM
    yaris sedan? iA

    xA was killed when the yaris 5 door was introduced.

    between scion, toyota and lexus, what DOESNT toyota offer?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States