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]