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Unlike the majority of global auto makes, Scion is a relatively young company. Founded in 2002 by Toyota for the promotion in the North American market, this brand became a hit as in the USA (primary market) and Canada. Initially, Scion solutions were targeting Generation Y consumers; however, the current lineup of vehicles is called to satisfy the needs of a much larger audience.
First Business Steps
The name ‘Scion’ has been chosen to underline the genealogy of the vehicles and the company’s owners. Literally, it means a descendant or heir of the family, implying the links with a powerful patron – Toyota.
Just in a year after official launch, Scion entered the NA market with two car models: xB (wagon) and xA (hatchback). Later, in 2004, the company released tC (sports coupe). In late 2006, the automaker introduced a new generation of xB model, based on t2B concept, as well as xD successor of xA model. It was not earlier than 2007 that both vehicles were officially introduced at the Chicago Auto Show.
In 2010 the brand entered Canadian market with already popular in the USA makes tC, xB and xD via Toyota Canada Inc. dealerships (initially in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal).
‘Pure Price’ Concept
With the purpose to engage various customer groups (younger generation in particular) and boost overall sales, Scion has been always committed to use innovative marketing approaches and tools. ‘Pure price’ concept is undoubtedly a tricky move: it implies that the price posted in the ad (display board or price list) is the cost consumers actually pay in total for a vehicle, different accessories, and insurance products. There are no hidden fees for ‘extra bonuses’ and no negotiation – that is considered to be a real boon for potential buyers.
Sales Scope and Struggles
According to the company’s statistics, 2010 was the most successful year in terms of sales with 173.000 tC cars sold. This figure dropped to about 58.000 in 2009; still, by 2010, this make has made over 40% of all brand’s sales since the inception. The xB (1st gen) sales have dropped dramatically after the launch of the 2nd gen – from 60.000 to 17.000 items in 2011; similarly, sales scope of xD make dropped from 32.603 in 2006 to 9.573 in 2011.
The drop could not but take toll on the automaker’s profits, endangering its further existence. Hence, in 2013 Toyota allowed the dealers to leave Scion brand without penalties. Over a span of two years the company has not been producing any new makes. However, in 2015 it managed to release a couple of greenhorns – iM (hatchback) and iA (sedan).
Scion’s current line of vehicles includes five makes:
- tC 2nd generation car – a 3-door liftback on the basis of Toyota Avensis;
- iQ city car;
- xB 2nd generation car – a 5-door wagon (marketed as Toyota Corolla Rumion in Japan);
- xD car – a 5-door subcompact on the basis of Yaris and Corolla platforms;
- FR-S – a sports car, rear-wheels engine.
In addition, in 2004 the company decided to gladden ‘sophisticated’ consumers with the limited edition series of vehicles. It was suggested that those vehicles should have had inbuilt (pre-packed) exclusive accessories; moreover, in order to create a buzz in the market, designers offered to paint the exterior in unusually bright hues (i.e. lava orange, hot red). The move has instantly yielded fruits – all limited edition cars were sold out within a short time.
The list of the most striking solutions from Scion for the past five years includes:
- 2010: tC RS 6.0 (1100 units manufactured, speedway blue hues); xB RS 7.0 (2000 units manufactured, Murasaki purple hues);
- 2011: xD RS 3.0 (1500 u/m, xPresso hues); xB RS 8.0 (2200 u/m, voodoo blue hues);
- 2012: tC RS 7.0 (2200 u/m, high-voltage yellow hues); xB RS 9.0 (1500 u/m, hot lava hues); xD RS 4.0 (800 u/m, blizzard pearl hues);
- 2013: tC RS 8.0 (2000 u/m, absolutely red hues);
- 2014: FR-S RS 1.0 (1500 u/m, Yuzu yellow color);
- 2015: tC RS 9.0 (2000 u/m, two-tone black/orange color).
Popular Scion Models:Popular Brands: