Scion Takes Over For Saturn As Canada's Struggling Niche Brand Of Choice

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Ever since GM announced that Saturn would be winding down, there’s been a niche-brand-like hole in the Canadian car market. And rather than learning from GM’s struggles, Toyota’s jumping right in to repeat them. The Star reports that ToMoCo have announced that Scion is going to Canada. Toyota will start off with 45 dealerships in urban settings (makes sense for an urban marque, I suppose); 20 in Toronto, 18 in Montreal and 7 in Vancouver. It’ll start off as a “store within a store” format. “The next generation of young car buyers is carving its own unique social and cultural experiences and Scion dealers will be part of their lifestyle,” Larry Hutchinson, Scion’s director in Canada, said. By slathering sensible cars which appeal to empty-nester boomers with youth-oriented marketing? Yeah, that’s been working well so far…

The article goes on to say that analysts reckon that Scion can strategically help Toyota increase brand loyalty by winning drivers at a younger age. This sounds a lot of like brand management consultant rubbish. In Europe, Toyota are successfully getting young people into the Toyota family via the rather cute and hip Aygo and what brand does that use? That’s right, Toyota. Meanwhile, Scion’s youth-marketing-driven US performance has been wildly forgettable. No need for a third brand there. The cars on offer, initially will be the Avensis related tC, the subcompact xD and the xB compact. No prices have been released yet.

To give you an idea of the size of the task facing Scion, in 2008 Saturn sold, in Canada, 18,729 units. In the US, which has more potential customers, Scion sold, in 2008, 114,000 units whilst Saturn sold 188,004. If Toyota’s hoping that the volume in Canada will offset the drop in the United States for Scion, then would they like to contact me as I have some magic beans I’d like to sell them……

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  • JuniorMint JuniorMint on Oct 31, 2009
    gslippy : “Scion’s younger buyer theme is not bogus.” I only know three Scion owners besides me; all are between 40-60. I know that Toyota has previously expressed surprise at the older-than-expected demographic purchasing Scions. That's interesting. I know four Scion owners besides myself - both of my brothers, my sister-in-law, my partner at work. All five of us are under 30. And none of us had purchased Toyotas before. As others have said, Scion has the lowest buying demographic of the market. That's pretty difficult to argue with using anecdotal evidence. Interesting tidbit, however, is that, of the five of us, only one purchased a Scion post-bloat. None of us is remotely interested in Scion's current before Scion goes north, they might want to carry some cars that don't suck.
  • Mtymsi Mtymsi on Nov 01, 2009

    I did not know Scions were sold under a no haggle pricing structure. Considering Scion pricing overlaps some Toyota models and both are sold from the same showroom makes me wonder how frequently buyers choose Toyota over Scion because they don't have to pay MSRP. No loss when that happens for Toyota but I'm thinking it may be a factor in Scion sales numbers.

  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.