Toyota's Scion Struggles for Sales

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
toyotas scion struggles for sales

TTAC reviewer Paul Niedermeyer slated the new, heavier, less fuel efficient, gansta-riffic xB as "a blot on Toyota’s relatively unblemished copybook." The other models aren't setting the world on fire and face new competition, from within and without ToMoCo. No wonder, then, Automotive News [AN, sub] reports that Scion sales have dropped for 16 straight months. "Since August, monthly sales have declined from each previous month, even though dealers have had two redesigned models in their showrooms during that period." Product isn't the only problem. Taking a cue from The Big 2.8, Scion has over-dealered. "Scion had 856 dealers as of Jan 1, 2005. But as sales soared in 2005 and 2006, more dealers piled on, even if they weren't in hip, urban neighborhoods. Currently, 963 of 1,224 Toyota dealers carry the brand." ToMoCo says they mishandled the old to new model changeover. And never mind, anyway. "Sure, we'd like to see more customers," ToMoCo prez Lentz admits. "but we're still seeing the right customers. The tC's average customer is under 25 years old. The overall Scion customer is in his early 30s, and primarily he is new to the brand… As we hit spring, I think we'll see some good sales results." Even at Toyota, hopes springs eternal.

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4 of 12 comments
  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Mar 03, 2008

    The problem seems to have ocurred when the 1st generation Xb production stoped. It will be interesting to see if Toyota admits its mistake and goes back to someing more like the original xb.

  • Johnson Johnson on Mar 03, 2008

    Some food for thought ... xB sales were UP in January. xD sales were a hair close to xA sales in January. tC sales were down considerably in January. Its quite obvious that Scion needs a tC replacement. xB and xD sales look fine.

  • CarShark CarShark on Mar 03, 2008

    @Johnson I concur. Granted, this is just one month, but if small car sales continue to grow I can see Scion blossoming again in the near future. BTW, I still hate the new xB. What a pig.

  • Johnster Johnster on Mar 03, 2008

    I love the xD Pickup conversion shown in the picture. It looks like an update of an old English '50s or '60s Morris or something. Maybe Scion needs to go after the agricultural market, since the over-sized Tundra isn't selling quite as well as Toyota had hoped.