By on February 3, 2016

2016 Scion iM

Beyond the funky metal, there’s one element that set Scion apart from its Toyota mothership: monospec pricing.

By offering up only a single trim for each models and reducing options to paint colors, transmissions and accessories, Scion was able to market its vehicles to a different audience and offer a no-haggle sales approach.

For the 2017 model year, that monospec approach will continue, but Toyota is evaluating its future. Also, Scion’s no-haggle pricing model won’t be surviving the transition to Toyota.

Speaking with Scion representative Nancy Hubbell, Toyota will adopt the cars it inherits from its youth brand, but not the sales processes.

“For the model year ’17, Toyota will continue with the single price strategy that Scion set forth, and we will re-evaluate that for model year ’18,” stated Hubbell in a phone interview with TTAC. Pricing of those vehicles will “follow the Toyota model,” meaning no-haggle pricing will die with the brand.

More interesting, Scion-gone-Toyota models may get trims — or grades, in Toyota speak — in 2018, as the mothership re-evaluates the monospec policy. And those model names may change in 2018, as well, though there is currently no plans to do so.

Another casualty of the transition is Pure Process Plus, an internet sales scheme from Scion that we covered in August 2015, but it may be resurrected later.

“It’s an interesting model that both Toyota and Lexus are taking a look at and elements of the Scion program are likely to be implemented by the other brands, but there are no plans to transfer Pure Process Plus at this time,” explained Hubbell.

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22 Comments on “Scion Monospec Strategy Continuing for 2017, Trims May Arrive for 2018...”


  • avatar
    tonycd

    This, more than the “hipsters without hamsters” aspect of the branding, is the ultimate defeat for the Scion concept.

    To repeat what I’ve said before, what made the Scion experiment valid was, as Jim Lenz himself put it once upon a time, “all about vehicle personalization.”

    The idea of one trim level, with factory control of quasi-aftermarket add-ons, was worth trying from Toyota’s standpoint because it centralized all the accessories that used to be dealer-installed. This not only successfully hogged all the dealer-installed options loot for Corporate, it also delivered a legitimate consumer benefit by offering a greater range of choices.

    The youth market was the right market for the Scion structural experiment for two simple reasons, neither of which has anything to do with “coolness”: They’re less brand loyal and thus easier to attract to an unknown brand, and they’re more into personalizing with accessories.

    Toyota had legitimate reasons for trying Scion. They simply didn’t work. The company tried something that was backed by a business case, it failed, and they killed it off. Not much to criticize there, with the obvious exception of the mortal wound they self-inflicted by letting the product pipeline wither a la Saturn.

  • avatar

    “No haggle FAILS AGAIN!

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Toyota can’t possibly think that the last few cars of a dead brand are going out the door at a no haggle price. Let’s see how long that lasts.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      They can put incentives on them and still have them no-haggle. I bought my tC with a $1000 rebate in 2011.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        What shocked me was the fact that so few dealerships took advantage of the no haggle pricing. Instead of selling 10 Scions a month, they could poach the 10 sales from the dealerships 50 miles away by Pure Pricing their cars for $1k less than the dealerships nearby. I feel like the dealers didn’t even realize that Pure Pricing just means you sell them all at a given price… not MSRP.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “By offering up only a single trim for each models and reducing options to paint colors, transmissions and accessories, Scion was able to market its vehicles to a different audience and offer a no-haggle sales approach.”

    how is that terribly different than the Toyota brand anyway? if you “build and price” pretty much any Toyota car, the available options are quite sparse.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Scion iA: has one trim level, two transmissions, 7 exterior color choices, 1 interior color choice = just 14 different factory configurations.

      Toyota Corolla: four major trim levels with 3 transmissions and 2 engines = 13 configurations before factoring up to 10 exterior colors and up to 3 interior colors. Lots possible factory configurations, although just a couple such as the LE/CVT, LE Eco/CVT, and S/CVT dominate the lots bringing the actual number down to a hundred or so.

      FWIW: a decade ago our Sienna (LE, FWD/8 passenger, package with ESC, red) had to be ordered by the dealer due to unavailability. It’s simpler nowadays as everything above is standard equipment.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    We all know how this will play out:

    1) Scions rebadged as Toyotas with new names – a couple probably killed right out of the gate

    2) Products ignored and slowly trickle away, with only the cash cows hanging on

    3) Within 5 to 7 years there won’t be anything left that could remotely point to its roots coming from Scion left on the showroom floor

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      The press release also announced the death of the tC, and the xB was already EOL’d this year.

      The iA will likely become the next Yaris (the next-gen Yaris elsewhere is essentially a Mazda2 anyway). This car is brand new and should have a long happy life serving finding homes with sub-600 FICO score customers.

      The iM may be rebadged as a Matrix (which was very successful in its original incarnation). I don’t expect this to live very long as-is as the Auris is already several years old.

      The FR-S may get rebadged as GT86 and will live through this generation’s life through the planned MY17 refresh, as the R&D work is already done and it’s not a US-specific model. Whether Subaru and Toyota ever release a second version is anyone’s guess.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Scions were never anything more than rebadged Toyotas anyway, except for the tC which replaced the Toyota Celica name.


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