The automobile graveyard is getting a new customer. Toyota is discontinuing its Scion brand. If you remember Scion at all, it’s probably because of the Scion xB, that boxy little car that everyone thought looked like a toaster on wheels, and inspired a handful of equally-ugly knockoffs like the Nissan Cube. I’ve got to hand it to the Scion exec for putting the best possible spin on this:
Scion was aimed at a young market (18-34). It briefly became popular about 10 years ago. But then gasoline stopped being $4/gallon, and nobody wanted minicars anymore. In any case, marketing cars toward young buyers was always a fairly questionable strategy. Most young people can’t afford a new car.
Still, the timing of this move is a bit surprising. Toyota just added a bunch of new models this year to try to revive the brand. I’m guessing some sort of internal political shift must have happened at Toyota if they decided to drop the axe (uh, samurai sword?) now.
Scion currently has 4 models: the tC, FR-S, iA, and iM. The tC is the last model that was specifically designed for Scion. It’s getting discontinued this summer. The rest are the new models, and were just re-badged Toyotas. They’re getting folded back into the standard Toyota line.