Has Scion Lost Its Mojo?

The Scion tC has the biggest youth appeal of any of the brands three vehicles, with an average buyers age of just 24. Overall, the Scion brand has been attracting more mature drivers of late, pushing the average Scion owners age to 42. The Toyota Motor Corporation wants to reverse that trend.

The Scion tC has the biggest youth appeal of any of the brand's three vehicles, with an average buyer's age of just 24. Overall, the Scion brand has been attracting more mature drivers of late, pushing the average Scion owner's age to 42. The Toyota Motor Corporation wants to reverse that trend.

Has Scion Lost Its Youth Appeal?

When Toyota launched its Scion brand five years ago, it was received with critical acclaim. Geared toward serving the youth market, the boxy and compact Scions were an instant hit, attracting a fresh group of buyers for the ever expanding Toyota Motor Corporation.

Scion Sales Are Down

Fast forward five years and the Scion picture has changed dramatically. A temporary spike in May and June sales followed a seventeen-month dip, but when July 2008 rolled around sales began to drop yet again. With a fleet full of economical, low cost models the question to be asked is this: what is dragging down Scion?

Well, in a recent interview that appeared in Automotive News, featuring Scion’s former corporate manager, Brian Bolain, several missteps over the past few years have conspired to sully the Scion image. Namely, Bolain shared a few clues:

  • Scion was marketed as a youth brand, aimed at 18-24 year old drivers. Youth trends change almost over night, making it difficult for Scion to keep up with what the current crop of young motorists prefers to drive.
  • Young people aren’t the only ones attracted to the Scion brand including members of the senior set who like the size and standard equipment offered on the various Scion models. Nothing is more of a turn off for young drivers to see their grandparents enjoying the same rides that appeal to them. Over a three month period earlier this year the average age of the Scion xD buyer increased from 37 to 42, likely as a result of higher gas prices driving older drivers to smaller, more economical cars.
  • The latest models are bigger. The last few years has seen the release of somewhat bigger and heavier Scions, not the types of vehicles youth want. On the other hand, the sporty tC still interests young people with the average buyer’s age being just 24.

Toyota Is Considering A Fourth Scion Model

In response to the brand’s slow ebb, Toyota is considering building a fourth model, perhaps a hybrid or small SUV. Interestingly, the Toyota brand is about to introduce a five-door version of its subcompact Yaris, a car that will appeal to the Scion set and shift buyers from Scion to Toyota.

Regardless of what path Toyota chooses for Scion, the brand’s setback is a startling reminder that even the world’s largest volume automaker can also stumble especially when it seeks to balance multiple brands. Could this be shades of General Motors?

Author Information

Copyright 2008-2012 — Matthew C. Keegan is the owner of a successful article writing, web design, and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several sites and is also a contributing writer for Andy’s Auto Sports where he invites you to check out their supply of automotive body kits.

Comments

  1. Matt says

    Cyndi, at some point I believe that Scion will get a hybrid. Toyota has been supplying hybrids for its Toyota and Lexus brands for years so why not Scion? It’ll be interesting to see how they go about do that. Best wishes with your marketing plan too.

  2. Cyndi says

    I’m writing a marketing plan for my class at school and it’s funny because I’m writing it about a Scion hybrid, which I didn’t even know they were thinking about until I read this article… That’s pretty cool I guess…

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