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The History of Scion

May 20, 2012

In the late 1990s Toyota wanted to capture the market of a more youthful clientele. At the time Toyota’s customers averaged 54 years in age. 1999 Toyota began to research a new Toyota marque that would offer a more youth-oriented lineup of vehicles through its own branding and dealerships. The project was named Exodus and would later on become known as Scion.

In 2002 Scion will be first introduced in New York during the auto show where the now xB and tC would be introduced to the public. Later on during the Los Angeles auto show the xA would debut. When the company first launched, it was in 2003 to a limited 105 dealerships located throughout California. By the middle of 2004 Scion vehicles would be available nationwide and would soon have three models to choose from. The Scion purchasing process was to be unorthodox in comparison to other car dealerships and the company would issue “pure price”. The pure price of the Scion vehicle was meant to alleviate all negotiations between customers and sales associates. The price marked on the vehicle was simply to be the price that you paid. Scion vehicles would be offered in one model only therefore letting customers at the accessories that they wanted instead of having to pay for the options that customers didn’t want.

Reduction of the first two vehicles offered by Scion would be the xA and xB. Both of these vehicles had uncommon characteristics that made each vehicle unique and therefore attracted more youthful buyers wanting to stray from the norm. Since Scion vehicles had Toyotas reputation for reliability standing behind them, the company would finish off its 2006 year with over 173,000 vehicles sold. This is proof that all three vehicles were well received by the general public and look to be a future staple for Toyota Motor Company.

Scion’s marketing campaign was as unorthodox as their vehicles were. The vehicles were marketed through social media sites, races, advertisements in movie theaters, posters, and regional viral marketing campaigns. In 2004 the company decided to release its own special edition vehicles called the “release series”. These vehicles would be a limited edition it would be offered in a unique color for each model. The amounts of special editions offered were determined by the company and usually men between 1700 and 2500 special editions. This would usually average out to around two or three vehicles per dealership and since the price was set dealerships cannot raise the price on the customers just before the purchase therefore causing these vehicles to sell fairly quickly.

Over the next few years sales of the Scion vehicles would be drastically reduced from their initial debut. Vehicle sales for the xA and xB dropped significantly to the point where the company was selling 60% less vehicles annually. Although not a direct connection to the lack of sales for the company it is however not to play a role as Scion announced the availability of its brand to the Canadian market in the fall of 2010.

Today Scion now offers five different models to choose from as it still offers the xA, xB, and tC models the company is also introducing two new models for the 2012 and 2013 model year. Limited markets in the United States received the 2012 Scion iQ which is based on the Toyota iQ that has been previously for sale in Europe. The vehicle is a small subcompact that focuses on metro driving as well as areas where vehicle lane plays a vital role in maneuverability and overall usefulness. For the 2013 model year the vehicle will be sold throughout the Scion dealership network throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The latest model to come into the Scion lineup of vehicles is the well anticipated new Scion FR-S. This vehicle is based off of the Toyota FT-86 which is also enjoying development with Subaru. The Scion FR-S is targeted to entry-level sports car for a driver who wants an everyday car as well. The vehicle has been meticulously engineered to optimize handling, power and efficiency. The vehicle would utilize the company’s first horizontal four-cylinder engine and will be set up as a front engine rear wheel drive vehicle with a 53% to 47% weight distribution thanks to its low and set back engine location.

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Uriah Nazario

Uriah Nazario

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