US-based Toyota subsidiary to be absorbed by its parent company

Scion and all of its assets are to be absorbed by parent company Toyota, as the brand is killed off due to plummeting sales.

The California-based car maker sold just 56,167 cars last year, which is less than a third of its best result in 2006, when 173,034 cars were sold.

The trend has been in place for more than a decade, because aside from a slight increase in sales in 2011 and 2012 - largely thanks to the launch of the iQ - fewer and fewer people have bought Scion-badged cars.

In an official release, Scion omits mentioning dwindling sales and instead attributes its closure to the end of a successful campaign that’s lasted less than 14 years.

Jim Letz, founding vice-president of Scion and now Toyota Motor North America’s CEO, said: “This isn’t a step back for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota.”

Letz emphasised that the brand’s core objectives – to attract younger buyers to the Toyota brand and develop unique products – have been achieved, adding: “I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. I’m very proud because that’s exactly what we have accomplished.”

Scion says 70% of its customers were new to the brand and Toyota, and that half were under 35 years old. It claims that the tC sports coupé had the youngest buyers in the US industry; it says the average age of owners is 29.

The closure of the brand will see several of Scion's models rebadged as Toyotas, although several are already sold in other markets (including the UK) under the Toyota moniker. Owners of existing Scion models will be able to have their cars serviced and maintained as normal at Toyota facilities.

Scion employees are reportedly being offered the chance to apply for jobs within Toyota, but it’s not yet clear if all will be able to move across.

Our Verdict

Toyota GT86
The stated criteria for the GT86 read like a purist's manifesto: rear-drive, no turbo, ordinary tyres

This light, uncomplicated coupé promises so much. Can the Toyota GT86 deliver?

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4 February 2016

“This isn’t a step back for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota.”

MG Writer

4 February 2016

So it wasn't all bad news. But it doesn't matter what badge is attached to the GT86, it doesn't sell in anything like the numbers it should do. With hindsight, the model might have been more successful, if it had been sold exclusively as a Toyota (or Subaru) in all countries, instead of having fragmented marketing of the same car under three different brands. Just shows that even Toyota, the worlds most successful car company, sometimes gets it wrong.

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