• Jan 14, 2011
A chat with Scion Vice President Jack Hollis was probably the biggest 'Let's get something straight' moment we had at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Sales were down 20 percent in 2010, the new 2011 tC didn't get the warmest reception from its former proponents, and the perception is that Scion is losing a grip on its youth-oriented message. Hollis sought to address those points and more:
  • "Some people have the impression that we've lost youth... but it's about identical: the median age for the tC was 28 last year, now it's up to 29. It's still the youngest in the market." As a brand, Scion has a median age of 41.5 years, up from 40.
  • Scion's sales were down 20 percent last year, but Hollis says that's only the point "if volume is your goal." He went on to say, "We could double sales, but we don't rely on traditional incentives." Sale prices remained non-negotiable throughout the recession and the only two cash incentives – $1,000 off for college students and military personnel – are handled through Toyota Financial Services. Hollis is more focused on "Who is the buyer you're capturing? The average age of our buyer in a recession was under 30. We have exactly the buyer we want." That means that "we lost numbers, not youth. That's not a Scion problem, that's an industry problem."
  • "The key tenet of Scion is to sell to people who have never purchased a Lexus, Toyota or Scion before." Seventy percent of buyers of the first xA and xB had never bought into the Toyota group before, and Hollis says that although the second generations of both models were very different, they achieved the same percentage of first-time buyers. "It's not my intent to have loyalty retention, but Toyota brand retention," to get the buyer started on an investment in Toyota's products.
  • Still, volume is on his mind. "My goal is to increase sales." The 2011 Scion tC had an 80 percent increase in Q4 last year compared to 2009, and "I have the tC all year this year." Hollis expects sales better than last year, "absolutely," and even to make gains on 2009 numbers.
  • On keeping up the momentum, he's admits that "Scion has got to find new ways to attract youth," adding "I think Scion will take the lead."
  • If you have your eye on a Scion iQ, it's "coming out in summer," and you'll be able to tweak it as you would any other Scion. There will be less customization possible than on a tC "on a percentage basis," but the ethos remains, "when you bring out a Scion you need to have personalization."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm eager to start reading reviews for the NA market iQ. Should be an interesting car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I own an XD have had nothing but issues with it. Dealer admits they are hiding the issues instead of doing recalls. They changed basically the whole braking system and it still is not fixed properly. I'm stuck with this vehicle, won't refer anyone to purchase Scion or Toyota, and when i make a future purchase it won't be with Toyota or Scion. My reason for purchasing is back in the mid 80's my grandfather's Corolla was a QUALITY product and also working within my financial specifications this vehicle had the head & foot room for my 6'5" son. It's sad to find they are more concerned with QUANTITY vs quality these days.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't understand why you would buy a new scion
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm 21 (thus in the Scion target market) and I DO NOT want a Scion.

      That is all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just another rice burner. No American jobs to buy with---oh wait !!! MAYBE cars like this is why we have no AMERICAN jobs!!! We're the dumbest people on the planet.
        • 1 Year Ago
        I think Toyota builds Camry, Corolla, Tacoma and Tundras here in th U.S. 365,000 jobs in the U.S. Everything else you said I agree with especially the last sentence. http://www.toyota.com/about/our_business/our_numbers/
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm 23, and I drive a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited. Why didn't I get a Scion? Because I never liked the idea of a car that is directly marketed towards young, teeny bopper types that watch MTV and listen to top-40 hip hop.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Man, this guy can spin! Which is good cause Scion has to spin just about everything right now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow is the relgious devotion of Japan-o-philia is finally broken? Down with the overrated and inflated pricing of the Japanese! long live DETROIT!! DET-FE!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      people can buy all the toyota products they want , when i see one on the road i let them get in front of me and that includes lexus
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not a failure? Its Toyota's GEO experiment. Its dying, its just like a slow train wreck that seems to take forever to play out.
      Expect the more popular Scion models to be rolled into Toyota within 5 years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You, sir, are an idiot. And reported.
      • 4 Years Ago
      is this a US brand only?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's launched in Canada recently, sold in Toyota dealerships.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's more of a subbrand than a standalone brand since every Scion dealership is really a Toyota dealership that sells Scion cars. I don't think it's a failure though. Sure the sales aren't as strong as they could be, but you have to realize that at least part of this is because people might go into a showroom to look at an xD and realize that they want the Yaris, the cross-shop rate must be through the roof. And if you go look at a Scion tC it's pretty likely that the sales guy will try to talk up the Camry SE to you-they did when I went to take a look at the new tC. The sales might not be super high but the brand exists basically to get young people to go walk into a Toyota dealership.

        And sales being moved over to the regular Toyota brand must be very common, because during the recession Toyota was pushing huge incentives on the Toyota branded cars and dealerships were negotiating very strongly. On the other hand the prices on the Scions didn't really budge. A lot of people probably went in to buy a Scion but were offered a much better deal on a Toyota branded vehicle.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, North America (USA & Canada) although some models are really Toyotas with a Scion badge applied and minor differences. iQ is sold as a Toyota elsewhere.
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