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2011 Scion tC – Click above for high-res image gallery

Scion came out swinging when it launched in 2003 and sales hit a peak of 173,024 units in 2006. Since that time, however, things have been spiraling downward. In 2010, Scion sold just 45,678 vehicles. That represents a 21 percent decline compared to 2009 sales. Despite this lull, Toyota President Akio Toyoda says the youth-oriented brand isn't going anywhere.

According to Automotive News, Scion represents a way for Toyota to reach a young demographic, and it doesn't plan to lose that gateway anytime soon. One of the problems has been that folks under 30 have been hit by the economic recession just like everyone else. Another is that recent models have failed to capture the imagination – and sales – that models like the original box-like xB did. Analysts are predicting a sales rise in 2011 but will that rise include Scion's demographic? Toyota recently redesigned the brand's most-popular model, tC, trying to make sure it does.

Photos copyright ©2011 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The problem with the new TC is the same as almost all new Toyotas. It looks too bland.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not to mention, it was aimed at "youth", but it also got picked up pretty quickly by the [much] older crowd as well, so now the youth want nothing to do with it since it lost its mojo.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Forte? Seriously. The Forte is the most bland vanilla coupe on the market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thats how I felt first time I saw pictures of it. This is the first time I've ever seen a cars styling seemingly go back a generation. This redesign looks extremely dated, the original tc still looks a decade more modern. I sincerely think Toyota needs to fire every single person in their design department as its been clear for a while that no one there knows how to make a good looking car anymore.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The only 'problem' Toyota has with their Scion brand is that they continue to try and target youth with these cars.

      It became evident early on that people of all ages liked the size, price, and practicality of the Scion cars. Toyota's response? Make the cars uglier, less practical, and less frugal, when they should have run with the market share that they did grab. Who cares if it was cannibalizing some Toyota sales. If people were buying these instead of Toyotas, they probably would have been buying other brand altogether instead.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most of the Scions I see out here are fleet

      ZipCar uses a lot of xds

      A lot of transport businesses use the xb

      Have yet to see a new tc which is surprising for the area
      • 4 Years Ago
      Remember how Ford used to be insistent on keeping the Mercury brand despite falling sales, only to have the brand phased out?

      And you know how Scion is in a similar situation?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mercury was sold in different dealerships.
        Mercury was just a Ford with vertical grill slots.

        Scions are sold in Toyota dealerships, and are unique products.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A mention of the future of Scion with no mention of the iQ? That car should help; it perfectly represents Scion, in my mind.

      Also, the xD should be replaced by its doppelganger the Toyota Urban Cruiser. It's a bit more unique and interesting and I believe would fare better. Should be an easy switch, too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Scion is fundamentally flawed. Given the choice between:
      - a used but more powerful/capable car, or
      - a new but more budget car
      most young buyers choose the used car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe if the Scion wasn't so ugly us 20-something year olds would consider it.

      At this point i'd rather look at honda accord coupes, genesis' and bmw 328i's rather than a scion.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I doubt many people would cross shop a 40K 3-series with a 16K Scion.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Scion makes xB bigger
      Scion sales take a tumble

      Put two and two together, Scion, and call me when the Daihatsu Materia is stateside.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was very disappointed when we didn't get the 2nd gen bB, instead we got that Camry wagon. And I was hoping they would bring over the Ractis too. Scion should have been what it started out as - a way to bring funky JDM Toyota's to the US.

        But after looking at their Japanese site, other than the Ractis, bB and maybe the Porte, all the JDM goodies look pretty dull too. :(
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, that's not totally fair. The original xB sales dropped off too, which suggests the novelty wore off. I'd still love it if that tiny box was back, but it wasn't like I could afford it new anyway, so I'm best off going for a used one.

        That doesn't help Scion, however. Their problem is, once the novelty of their models wears off, they're stuck. Toyota has learned the hard way that while getting youth's attention is fairly easy - just throw some weird car out there - HOLDing their attention for the long run is not so easy.

        FWIW, I'm mildly excited about the new compact Prius c. Cheaper, lighter, more efficient than a Prius? Sounds good. Sounds good as a Scion, too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        call me when i can get a Dacia Sandero. LOL
      • 4 Years Ago
      The original XB was JDM and they made the new XB fatter which failed.

      Youths want JDM. Stop making American versions.. Its not working!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. Since then everything after became more like American Toyotas, big and bland styling. I see their JDM vehicles as being perfect replacements to the stellar originals.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I couldn't agree more.

        Stick with the original plan rather than going after 50+!
      • 4 Years Ago
      With iQ and FT86 coming soon, Scion has nothing to worry about and sales can only skyrocket. Those two vehicles alone will bring sales back to Scion's near 200k levels. And I love how AB continues to use this crappy photoshoot of the tC in blue (worst color for the tC IMHO). If you've seen it in White then you know it looks sharp...and way better than any Kia Forte in features, reliability, resale, etc etc...

      Have you ever looked at the paint job on a Kia Forte Koop? The worst orange-peel paint job I have ever seen in 40 years! Worse than a jobber's Maaco paint job. Very obvious in black on the trunk lid. That's a clear indicator of Kia's cheapness and an indicator that in 3 years your Forte will be a worthless rust-bucket cancer to your pocketbook in maintenance costs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Somebody beat me to it:) Yes, Scion is the new Saturn. Let's take bets on how long it will last:) All I see are seniors driving around in Scions....seriously. I think it may be because the cars are cheap? So much for the youth image. I think Hyundai is going to show ToyoDa how it's done with the new Veloster. Although I would'nt buy one, I can see alot of 18-25 year olds buying that over ANY scion.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They're not bad cars, they're just not remarkable in an increasingly-competitive cheap car market. I've driven the new tC and the xD, and neither wowed me. The tC just wasn't that sporty, even with a manual: it looks like a sports coupe but drives like a midsize sedan. The xD is a competent subcompact, but it doesn't really stand out when stacked against the two class leaders (the agile and shockingly-roomy Fit, and the agile and refined Fiesta). With the Cube stealing Scion's "funky JDM" mojo, and with the Veloster looking like it's going to own the "funny-looking, cheap, small, and fun" market, Scion needs to try harder if it wants to leave a lasting impression.
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