We drove their best offering, the FR-S as our first ever press car and now we’re feeling a bit nostalgic. It seems as though the brand that only existed as Toyota’s attempt to grab the attention of the millennial culture is about to go the way of Oldsmobile and get the proverbial guillotine to the oil line.
Motor Trend is reporting this morning that the Scion nameplate will be killed off in favor of bringing all of it’s offerings to the Toyota name. This is actually already common practice outside of the U.S. anyway. In other markets, the FR-S is the Toyota GT86. The iM hatchback is the Toyota Auris. Hell, the other new model, the iA, is a Mazda 2 everywhere else and Mazda didn’t even bring it to the U.S.
Scion has suffered years of sales declines, but it seemed like Toyota had a plan to turn the brand around. In addition to the Mazda2-based iA and rebadged Euro-market Toyota Auris, the iM, Scion was expected to add a version of the Toyota C-HR crossover to its lineup. A C-HR concept sporting a Scion badge was even shown off at the recent 2015 Los Angeles auto show last November. The new cars are more practical and mainstream-looking than the boxy, quirky-cool xB, the vehicle that helped the Scion brand establish its identity. They appeal to a wider audience but still have a hint of that rebellious streak Scion is known for. The revamped lineup seemed like a new beginning for the brand.
But alas, Scion’s rebirth was not to be. A brand targeted at young people in an era when those young people are buying fewer and fewer cars occupies an extremely narrow niche. In 2015, the entire Scion brand sold 56,167 cars — less than the number of Toyota Avalons sold.
Ouch. That’s brutal.
It remains to be seen exactly which models will be kept and carried over into the Toyota lineup. I’d imagine the FR-S will be kept and made into the GT86 since all that will need to be done is some badge replacement and trim upkeep. The iA and iM are different stories entirely as Toyota already has small hatchbacks and sedans that aren’t totally strange looking or out of place.
Whatever happens, we know that Scion will always hold a special place in our automotive hearts. Forgive the relationship goggles, but we’re going to miss them. We won’t, however, miss the xB. Good riddance.
(Souce: Motor Trend)