• Nov 12, 2006
For the first 255 days of 2006, Scion sold more than 151,000 cars. Next year, the youth-oriented brand plans to sell even fewer. The Wall Street Journal reports that Toyota plans to limit its youth brand's sales to a year-long total of only 150,000 vehicles next year. Toyota hopes that by keeping Scion a hard-to-obtain product, the brand can retain some of its underground coolness. Hmmm... that's the same kind of strategy used by brand's like Bentley to keep its car's ultra exclusive.

Limiting sales is a pretty big gamble for any brand, but is an especially big gamble for one selling essentially economy cars that most other carmakers sell at a loss. Add in the two new models Scion will have on lots next spring, and the stakes climb even higher. Only a company with pockets as deep as Toyota could run such a marketing experiment without much trepidation.

To further enhance that can't-have-it appeal, Scion is expected to move away from advertising on the "too mainstream" MySpace and instead focus its online efforts on Secondlife. Scion may also totally shun TV advertising, though its TV presence was limited to begin with. It's a novel way to pitch cars to the ever-elusive youth crowd that could just be crazy enough to work.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal via Inside Line]


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  • 34 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      #19, Howard: You are correct... my mistake. There are similar designs elsewhere, but I just wanted to make sure that people weren't thinking that Scions here were simply rebadged (and nothing else) exact copies of other models elsewhere

      #35: There is a factory supercharger :)

      #37: Correct. The tC is not a sports car or coupe, and was never intended to be. I think people just assume it is... I'm not sure why. tC stands for "touring coupe," and that's all it is. It's up to the owner to turn into whatever he/she wants it to be, if they want more than just a nice coupe.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That's the stupidest strategy I've ever heard.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Does Toyota remember when it was somewhat of a youth brand? With cars like the Supra, MR-2 (not the one based on JDM MR-S), Corolla AE86 and Celica? Man how times have changed. Maybe the Yaris will bring some of that back.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i find it funny how domestic owners stay loyal as their vehicle drives them to bankruptcy after it nickles and dimes them. these are great cars, build wise, and fill their niche perfectly, an economy car geared towards youth that gets good gas mileage and isn't fast. though i'm sure there are some morons on here that would rather buy their kids mustangs and see them either kill themselves in it or go broke trying to maintain those.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why are people so obsessed with the supercharged TC? Even with the base engine, it's relatively easy to induce wheel spin on the start or torque steer during hard accelleration. I don't even want to know what will happen with a supercharger. Also, this car has a very unballanced weight distribution with too much weight in the nose which makes things worse when cornering. I am not saying it's a bad car. It's a decent, sporty coupe and a great deal for the price (although I'd get the Mazda3 instead probably). However, a true sports compact it is not. Given the cost of the TC + supercharger, I wonder why not just buy a proper sports compact such as Civic SI or GTI.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Limiting sales huh? Well, someone can have mine, I don't want one. Enjoy!
      • 8 Years Ago
      TG -- funny, from those 7 words, I didn't think Brooksie seemed intelligent enough to be assumed a Democrat. I don't think it has so much to do with creating demand and exclusivity to stabilize prices, I think there is a much larger and more profitable scheme in play. By increasing the cool factor for young buyers, the brand itself becomes valuable and becomes lucrative for other companies to buy into -- all the companies that invest millions trying to "tap into the youth market" can then co-brand with Scion instead.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Completely and utterly moronic.

      The dopey fad will be over soon - sell as many cars as possible until then.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Re apt34,

      For the most part you are correct. However, Scion, the brand ,is USDM but the cars are not all exclusive to the U.S. market. The xa and xb are sold in other markets as Toyotas, the tc is a U.S. exclusive, but is exclusive in that it's a body style not sold in other markets of a car sold in other markets. The tc is based on the Avensis, sold in Europe as a 4 door sedan and as a 5 door wagon. The Avensis is available overseas with a 4 cylinder turbo-diesel, and with a couple of 4 cylinder gas engines...all are smaller in displacement but rated at more power than the 2.4 used in the U.S. market tc.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Great, and affirmation for arrogance and "exclusivity." Nice!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Brooksie - you must be a Democrat

      The strategy works, especially for kids. Look at what BMW has done for the Mini Cooper. Those vehicles damn near cost more used than new..........why......because it takes forever to get them new and no one want's to wait for a car.

      I think it's smart. Toyota knows that it's market share is doing nothing but increasing. If their cars are satisfying adults and children alike, reducing production will maintain the "must-have" factor and stabilize prices.

      Or, ask Chevy about their Colbalt SS supercharged, which is faster, handles better, costs less, but has less demand for some reason? Could it be brand image.

      I know BMW has it. I know Mini has it. And I know Toyota has it. GM nope

      The closest car that competes with the Scion is the Civic/Fit/Element products from Honda. A funny thing about Honda is......they are at full capacity, they can't build anymore cars. They basically sell as much as they build, which may increase their sales a small amount, but not substantially.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Brennan: Forces Toyota to go out of business?

      You have got to be kidding me. Toyota can afford to throw a few billion at the wall and see if it sticks. Scion stuck.

      I am thinking that this corporation knows a little more about making and selling cars than the average Brennan out there.

      I have heard many times that this brand is not all about making money. It has been called an experiment by some of the higher-ups at Toyota. If it breaks even but gets that loyalty in a younger crowd, Scion is a resounding success. If it happens to become so sought after that they decide to limit production rather than have it limited by the market, well then that makes Toyota VERY happy.

      Based on what I see with so many people buying multiple Scions, and moving to Yaris and such, Toyota has gained that brand loyalty.

      Domestics WISH they could have a Scion.
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