Toyota officially announced Wednesday morning that Scion will “transition to Toyota,” effectively killing off the youth brand started in 2002. Its first vehicles went on sale in California in 2003, and included the xA hatchback and xB wagon.
According to a release from Toyota, Scion “is now transitioning back to the Toyota brand” and most Scion models well be rebranded as Toyotas starting August 2016 for the 2017 model year, including the forthcoming C-HR. The Scion tC will be discontinued as of August 2016.
“This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota. Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network,” said Jim Lentz, founding vice president of Scion and now CEO, Toyota Motor North America. “I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. I’m very proud because that’s exactly what we have accomplished.
“We could not have achieved the success we have had without the incredible support of Scion’s customers, dealers and team members, so supporting them throughout this transition process will be one of our top priorities,” said Lentz.
According to Toyota, the average age of a Scion buyer is 36, and the Scion tC has the lowest-average age buyer in the industry at 29. New models — the iA and iM — claim 70 percent of their buyers as being first-time new car purchasers.
While Toyota didn’t overtly state there will be no loss of staff as part of the transition, it did say “Scion’s 22 dedicated team members, who represent sales, marketing, distribution, strategy, and product and accessories planning, will have the opportunity to take on new jobs at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in Torrance.”
A total of 1,004 Scion dealers will be affected, though most of those locations are dual-brand stores that also sell Toyotas.
Toyota sold a total of 1,092,675 cars under the Scion marque from 2003 to the end of 2015.