Add Scion to the automotive graveyard that houses fondly and sometimes not-so-fondly remembered automotive brands such as Fisker, SRT, Pontiac, Saab, and Hummer, amongst the most recent automotive casualties.
Toyota Canada officially confirmed that the Scion brand will wind down in August 2016, but that recently introduced Scion products such as the iM five-door hatchback and rear-wheel drive FR-S sport coupe will remain in the lineup. The company already offers a Toyota Yaris sedan in Canada, which is marketed as a Scion iA in the U.S., and will become a Toyota iA for the 2017 model year once the Scion brand ceases to be south of the border.
Scion sales in small-car-friendly Canada were proportionately much higher than in the U.S., and on the upswing in 2015, in contrast to those in the U.S. Canadians bought 24,781 Scions in 2015, compared to 56,167 Scions sold in all the U.S., a vehicle market over 10 times larger than Canada’s.
UPDATE: Toyota Canada spokesperson Alice Young Jeon confirmed recently that the plan is to continue with the Toyota FR-S and iM names, "but we will continue to monitor what our customers are asking for." Regarding the C-HR, Jeon said plans are still underway, but a Toyota U.S. spokesperson said yesterday that current plans call for keeping the (rather Scion-like) C-HR name.
Here is the official word from Toyota Canada about Scion brand’s demise.
In 2003, Scion established as a separate brand in the US to explore new products and processes to attract younger customers. Brought to Canada in 2010, the brand allowed Canadians access to small cars important to the Canadian market and is now transitioning to the Toyota brand.
“This is the next step to advancing the Toyota brand in Canada,” said Larry Hutchinson, President and CEO, Toyota Canada Inc. “As a part of the team that established Scion in Canada, our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. This is exactly what we have accomplished and we look forward to expanding our product lineup with exciting product.”
Scion achieved its goals of developing unique products and processes, and bringing in new, younger customers to Toyota. In Canada, 65 per cent of Scions were purchased by customers new to the Toyota family and Scion has one of the youngest average customer age in the industry of 39 years.
Toyota’s decision to transition the brand is in response to changing customer needs. Customers are drawn to the Toyota brand for its quality, durability and reliability and recognize that Toyota is bringing out more of the fun-to-drive cars with the distinctive styling they’re looking for. The addition of Scion vehicles to the Toyota lineup will advance the brand’s broad portfolio of vehicles that meet the versatile needs of Canadian customers.
As part of the brand transition, MY17 Scion vehicles will be introduced as Toyotas beginning August 2016:
- The FR-S sports car and iM 5-door hatchback will become a part of the Toyota family,
- The tC sports coupe will have a final release series edition and end production in August 2016, and
- The C-HR, which recently debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will become a part of the Toyota line-up.
The service and repair process for Scion customers will be unaffected by this change as customers will continue to visit service departments at Toyota dealerships.