Toyota drops Scion; youth brand no longer needed

Toyota drops Scion; youth brand no longer needed

Young buyers were very different in 2002 when Toyota started the Scion brand in 2002 to appeal to the youth market. Quirky cars and unusual ads seemed like a good strategy to reach consumers who wanted to distinguish themselves from their parents by not buying mainstream brands, like Toyota.

Todayês young buyers, analysts say, consider Toyota an aspirational brand. They want SUVs and crossovers as much as other auto buyers do, and Scionês lack of an offering in those segments became a problem for the brand.

–Itês hard being a small car brand when shoppers opt for SUVs and trucks whenever gas prices arenêt sky high,” said Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell.

Toyota described the phasing out of Scion as a transition. –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.

Scionês 1,004 dealerships, all housed in Toyota dealerships, will continue to sell and service Scion models, though some will be rebadged as Toyotas.

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