By on February 3, 2016

scion_gravestone

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.

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99 Comments on “OFFICIAL: Scion Is Dead, Will ‘Transition to Toyota’ for 2017 Model Year...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    ‘Bout time Toyota failed at something. When offering what many consider a sub-par brand, it had to happen sooner or later.

    Besides, for the most part, kids buy old & well-used beaters anyway. Offering a “beater” brand new didn’t work out so well.

  • avatar

    The press release is hillariously rosy.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’m amazed that they kept it around as long as they did. They should have never redesigned the xB, among other mistakes.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      Funny thing is, they didn’t redesign the xB. The 1st generation Scion xB = Toyota bB in Japan. There is in fact a 2nd generation Toyota bB sold in Japan that is just like the original xB. They just don’t sell that version here.

      Our 2nd generation xB is basically a Corolla-based box wagon designed explicitly for the US market and has no relationship whatsoever with the Toyota bB.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My 05 xB1 was excellent – best car I ever had.

      A 6th gear and another 50 lbs of sound deadening would have done wonders, rather than the bloated xB2 they delivered instead.

      Scion hasn’t offered anything to interest me since then.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      It wasn’t re-designed for the states it was a new model made for us because the original box was under powered and scored low is crash tests

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    When they killed off the first gen xB, Scion was conveniently left with the box they’d be buried in.

  • avatar
    86er

    From these virtual pages in 2008:

    “If Toyota kills Scion, we’ll know they’re not General Motors. If ToMoCo persists in this, we’ll know that they could well be doomed to repeat GM’s history.”

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. For all the corporate BS in this move, they are mostly telling the truth here. In its fast-track to growth 15 years ago, the Toyota brand focused on boring cars. There was no room for a new Celica or whatever.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    It was inevitable. Scion has one appealing product, the FR-S, which should have been the Toyota Celica from the beginning.

    The rest of the lineup is just cheap feeling, gutless small cars. What Toyota has done is to create a “kid’s table”, but they didn’t realize no one wants to sit at the kids table, especially if it requires them to pay $20k to do so.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 – As someone who has an unhealthy obsession for the ’82-85 Celica, the FR-S should have resurrected the Celica name.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Toyota seems allergic to names these days. if not for 30 years of brand recognition, I’m sure the Camry would have been renamed/replaced with something like “HS-F” by now.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        JimZ,
        Corolla, Tacoma, Hilux, Highlander/Kluger, Landcruiser, RAV4(?), Prado, Camry, Hiace, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Well Big Troll From Oz, you sure missed his point, AGAIN.

          Did ANY of the names you listed come out “these days” (as in very recently)?

          You just cant help but be an @$$, can you? Youre so quick with your typical “Im so much smarter than you stupid F-150 buying Americans” attitude responce that you didnt take time to, ya know, actually read the comment you decided to argue against.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Easy now, don’t sink to a lower level by doling out insults and name-calling. To answer your question, I’d consider Tacoma, Highlander, and RAV4 to be reasonably recent (although two of those are pushing 20 or better).

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I’d better hurry down to the dealer and get an iA and IM to shrink-wrap in climate-controlled storage for 30 years.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Just great! Who will build Chrysler’s sedans now!?

  • avatar
    JimZ

    Of course they leave it to the token American bureaucrat to deliver the news.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    BYE FELICIA!

  • avatar
    Rday

    THis just proves that Toyota can make a big mistake on killing off the original XB which everyone seemed to love. Toyota Na must have hired GM people to staff Scion. Just a stupid mistake.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “This just proves that Toyota can make a big mistake on killing off the original XB which everyone seemed to love.”

      Not me. Looks like an old milk truck, which had much more character.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        It is funny you say it looks like an old milk truck, because it does and that is desirable at least for a very select few. Years ago I maintained the fleet for a dairy that still did home delivery. So among all the step vans and Sprinters they had 4 xBs, for the sales people, in the same cow spot livery as the rest of the fleet. They were chosen because they look like an old milk truck.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Nope Toyota makes plenty of mistakes and missteps just like any other company.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Mirai.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        @poncho, 100% true: theyre just almost always glossed over by the B&B.

        “Toyota recall fumbled and ends up killing 50 orphans? Wait, there must be SOMETHING about an American automaker I can make fun of so everyone will like me. Itll also distract the laymen from thinking anything negative about Lord Toyota. Oh! The Pinto! Didnt that just happen like last week?! Killed 94,502,902 people? Yeah! Mission acomplished.”

    • 0 avatar

      Wasn’t Jim Farley there at the creation? It still amazes me how he has dumb-lucked and failed upward into running Ford of Europe!

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Was Scion really a brand to begin with, since they appeared as Toyotas on owner registrations, and sales were combined with the Toyota brand in monthly reports?

  • avatar
    Speed3

    SO the iA, iM, and FR-S are transitioning to Toyota. tC is dead. What about the xB?

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    As one of the first buyers of a tC in 2004 (actually it was # 12,939) I have to say I’m a little sad to see the brand as well as the tC go.

    One thing we don’t need in this world is fewer coupes.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I have to say, the Scion FR-S/Subaru BR-Z/Toyota GT-86 still tempts me. I am sure it won’t be around much longer, though the FJ Cruiser showed how long Toyota will stick with a slow selling model.

    I would love one in my garage, but my family doesn’t really fit in it. I fit in it fine, me and my daughter fit in it fine, but me wife and daughter don’t fit in it fine. Damn.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      There’s a refresh coming later this year that will carry the car through 2018 at least.

      It’s a fantastic car provided you don’t need more than 200 horsepower. I sometimes consider trading mine for a WRX, but a quick drive down back roads is enough to put a smile on my face.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        Currently drive an RSX-S and am as happy as a clam. So no, don’t really need more than 200HP

        Really, the RSX-S is why I haven’t gone for the FR-S/GT-86/BRZ/whatever. The Toyota twins have rear wheel drive and a limited slip differential which would be a nice improvement over my car, but my Acura’s FWD does open up the cabin and give just a few extra cubic feet of room. It’s just enough to make my wife sort-of-not-really comfortable in the car.

    • 0 avatar
      kosmo

      I took a spin in an FR-S while my van was being serviced yesterday. Perfect “toy” car for me.

      I wonder if I could “steal” the Scion-branded one they have on the lot?!

      • 0 avatar
        djsyndrome

        Until now, probably not with the ‘Pure Price’ garbage. But with the announcement dealers may be more motivated to clear them out.

        There’s always the BRZ, which Subaru dealers are essentially giving away.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I want to want to own one of these, but the lack of a usable back seat makes it a toy to me. For that $$$ I would rather get back into a Z, roll the dice on a 996, build a turbocharged Exocet, or get a couple of nice motorcycles, since I would need to keep my DD anyway.

      My real hope is Toyobaru expand this platform the next go round to a sedan (next Impreza anybody), with a RWD option and a 2.5L version of the current engine. Given the success of affordable 4 door performance cars this seems like a no brainer.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Who builds it, though? Subaru already builds very few variations of the FR-S/BRZ/86 because they have the the Crosstrek and the WRX on the same assembly line. As much as I would LOVE an FR-S sedan (4″ more of rear legroom is all that I need), I don’t see it happening. We’re seeing a contracting of brands, models, and variations in the US market and I think that CAFE 2020 will accelerate that contraction of variants.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        Odd enough, the back seat is perfectly fine for me. My daughter is still young and small. And when she isn’t so young and small in a few years, well, teenagers are much more flexible than us grownups so she can still fit back there if needed.

        The killer is that my wife finds the front passenger seat to be totally uncomfortable. She hates the headrests and how the jut forward into her head.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      I will be curious if there is a spike in sales on this next year.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Have seen this coming for quite a while now. Surprised that this site didn’t really foresee this with a Scion “death watch” series or something with Scion’s total 2015 sales below Toyota’s not so hot selling Avalon full size sedan! It doesn’t make much sense that they would bring over the re-badged Mazda sedan when they already have the Yaris and Corolla but the iM would sort of replace the Matrix and if Toyota had any brains they would bring the FR-S over with a new better engine with more power and torque. The elimination of the tC means one less coupe and a predictable move hence it’s low sales.

    Yes it’s nice to see another unnecessary Asian brand go away for a change instead of another American one following the death of Isuzu USA.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I could only find one explicit mention of deathwatch: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/08/scion-deathwatch-2011-scion-tc-design-inspiration-discovered/

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The current Yaris is a phoned-in POS, so it makes perfect sense that Toyota tapped Mazda for a decent B-segment entrant.

      “Yes it’s nice to see another unnecessary Asian brand go away for a change instead of another American one”

      Well yes, after Hummer, Geo, Saturn, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Plymouth demonstrated how good American automakers and especially GM are at creating and euthanizing unnecessary brands, it must be nice to see someone else give it a go. Once Toyota does this another four times or so and then requires a bailout to prevent implosion and nationwide economic damage, you can get cocky.

  • avatar
    scrappy17

    Since the tC is dead, the only coupe with a stick from a Japanese maker would be the Civic!

  • avatar
    Eric Aubanel

    Nice to see some FRS love in the posts. I’ve been enjoying mine greatly since I got it in 2012. Our local Toyota dealer never adopted Scion so I have to drive over an hour to get to a Scion dealer. Now I’ll consider buying the iM as a second car.

  • avatar
    sco

    It’s a real shame. Ive owned two XB1’s and also an Xa and they were all really great cars (215K and counting on the Xb). These first gen Scions also hold their value quite well so I dont think I’m alone in seeing their worth. But agreed, the market for small, dead reliable cars with quirky styling and minimal creature comforts isn’t large, and never was. And its very easy to find yourself on the wrong side of cool with regard to the quirky styling. I think the rebadge as Toyota is fine, I’ve always considered mine as Toyotas. But I will miss Scion and the people like the guy at my tire shop who still pronounce it SKee-On or Sky-on. People still dont know how to pronounce the make of the car after 13 years, maybe that’s the problem in a nutshell.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I look forward to seeing what they end up being called.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Scionara!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    It is about feckin’ time – for the love of God if you keep the FR-S alive call it a Celica. You’ll double sales just with a name change.

    I don’t see two Toyota badged b-segment cars on the showroom floor – so I’m wondering does the Yaris or the iA live on.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      We need to find out who had 02/03/2016 in the TTAC Scion Deathpool.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      If they’re smart they will kill the Yaris, rip the name badges off its useless corpse and place them on the iA. I’d also love to see the Celica name resurrected.

      I’m still amazed Toyota went to the effort of cultivating the Scion brand and then just stared blankly at it for years as it withered from neglect. Like a one-hit-wonder band, they seemed to have used all their talent and ideas on the first hit album.

      • 0 avatar

        When the brand was a something of a hit, the Kristal flowed. Then they promoted everybody good or they were recruited away. Somewhere in there came the 2008-2011 sales crunch.

        My guess? The next team(s) probably had Scion shoved at them and wasn’t as enthusiastic about the assignment. The result? No one took ownership or fought for it. They played politics for better assignments or got out.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        No, no, no, it was Obama’s fault.

        ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Pfft it was clearly [Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ]’s fault.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          I love simple answers and you guys are giving me simple answers! But surely we are the only 3 bright enough to see with this much reductive clarity, yes?

          Hey look! Jack wrote an article on something, I wonder what it says…

  • avatar
    Mattias

    I saw this coming. Toyota can now just call a spade for a spade and just call th iM a Corolla hatch and the iA a Yaris hatch and the FRS a (GT)86. Only sad thing about losing the tC is that the Toyota Avensis in Europe is doomed (popular family car in the Nordic countries). I know someone who owned an original xB which he drove after ditching his runner during the 08 gas crisis/recession but replaced it with a RAV a few years back, he doesnt miss it. The thing that doomed scion was that they produced lackluster products for years.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I kind of liked the TC and my opinion of the car wouldn’t change if it was a Scion or a Toyota. In fact the Scion and Toyota dealer were in the same lot and used the same mechanics. So really what difference does it make except now I can negotiate the price?

  • avatar
    Silent Ricochet

    “The Scion tC will be discontinued as of August 2016.”

    Did you hear that? That was the sound of thousands of sorority girls and douchebag ricers simultaneously letting out a scream of horror. What will they buy now? Used Cobalts and Eclipses? Civics? Will the girls transition over to driving Jeeps?

    I’ll let you know the next time I visit Alma Mater.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    Refresh the GT-86 platorm with an extra 10% power, re-brand it as the new Toyota Celica and they will probably fly out of the showrooms.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Not sure whether the timing is coincidental, but TMC also just went from being a majority owner to the 100% owner of Daihatsu.

    This is supposedly mostly an emerging markets play, but perhaps there is some sort of plan to bring at least some of those cars to the US in some form or another. (Scion already had some experience with this, and of course Daihatsu tried but failed before to launch its brand in the US.)

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20160201/BLOG06/160209992/in-daihatsu-deal-toyota-zigs-while-detroit-zags

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I can’t imagine Daihatsu coming to the US – that would be a complete charade.

      There are also reports that Toyota is shutting down production at many plants in Japan, due to a sudden steel shortage. This may be the biggest financial news.

      • 0 avatar
        djsyndrome

        They would be in for a Rocky reception.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I didn’t pick up on it but yes, well played. Murliee covered one about two years ago.

          http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1990-daihatsu-rocky/

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The pun was well played, but few will notice it.

        Don’t take it literally — that does not necessarily mean that Daihatsu cars would be sold in the US branded as Daihatsus. I’m simply noting that the Scion shutdown and Daihatsu rampup plans may be somehow related (although exactly how, I don’t know.)

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Pch101,
      I actually agree with you regarding Toyota buying out enough of Diahatsu to add it into Toyota’s range.

      I have read Toyota’s reason was to help it retain it’s lead as the largest producer of vehicles globally.

      But, I do know Diahatsu here in Australia was targeting the younger people, at a more cheerful and friendly price than Toyota products.

      Toyota and Diahatsu go back many decades working together and platform sharing. This is particularly evident with light commercial vehicles.

      Diahatsu is reknown for it’s Kei and micro size vehicles as well.

      Will Toyota use Diahatsu for it’s smaller cars in the future?

  • avatar
    Pecci

    No wonder why I couldn’t get on the Scion website for the last couple of weeks!

  • avatar
    MWolf

    Scion started out ok, especially with the tC, a sporty, inexpensive and decemt looking car that you could add some cool extras on. The xb was popular, and the whole lot seemed reliable enough.

    What happened after that was uglier cars in a half-hearted attempt to update, and tjr IQ, which just looked awful and tried to cash in on Smart’s misery and stupidity. It seems like they just stopped caring after a few years.

  • avatar

    I would not call it a failure. They attracted younger people to Toyota. Millenias do not like cars in general and if forced into car love brands driven by their parents (except my son of course) so they refused to buy Scions leaving the honor to own Scion to Xers and Boomers. It is the most conformist/socialist/jobless generation in American history. I had no idea that Scion was making cars other than tC and FR-S. tC is American version of Avensis as far as I understand. In EUrope it is class between Corolla and Camry (not sold in Europe anymore). I.e. something that was similar to Passat/Vectra (VW never had D-class car and Opel had Omega).


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