Scion is simultaneously celebrating its ten-year anniversary with the 10 Series models and trying to figure out what to do with itself over the next ten years. Once a go-to consideration for young, first-time buyers who wanted something cool and different, in 2013 it has a model everyone is still talking about in the FR-S, a model few are still talking about in the iQ, and three models in between in the tC, xB and xD that make everyone wonder, "What happened?"

Automotive News spoke to Toyota's North American CEO, Jim Lentz – he was the VP in charge of Scion when it launched – about the options, and Lentz said one of them could be a move upmarket to challenge the established luxury brands that are moving downmarket. "There's going to be a big need in the $25,000 range for a fun-to-drive, nice-looking, value-oriented product," he said, and the FR-S, which starts at $25,255, could provide the platform for Scion to climb up a notch or two in price and perception. An idea like this could conceivably work in tandem with a proposal to move entry-level Scion products over to the Toyota brand – but remember, this is all just ideas on a whiteboard at the moment.
As opposed to an "entry-luxury fighter," the brand could swing back to the other option that was considered when it was formed, directly challenging the Korean makes that have usurped its cachet with first-time buyers. Lentz said Scion could go either way, and the tone of the piece seems to indicate that the final direction is still a ways away from being resolved.


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  • 109 Comments
      Slideways
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about sticking to affordable, simple, quirky and fun to drive cars like the first gen xB? I don't want my kids to drive a beige Corolla in the future...
      wsbfan
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should scrap Scion and re-badge the FRS as the GT-86 like it should be. If any of their other models are worth keeping, make them Toyotas too.
        mostchillininsc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wsbfan
        I would consider it if it was an FT86. Subaru will likely get my money instead...
      SethG
      • 1 Year Ago
      The original xB was the only Scion that successfully sold in accordance with the intention of the brand. And even that was a stretch as it generally sold to older buyers than the brand was supposed to target. The tC probably hits the right demographic but they really don't sell that many of them. Looking back, you could probably argue that virtually every Scion (FR-S included) would have sold better as a Toyota and all but the xA and xD would have done so without cannibalizing Toyota sales.
      Justin Campanale
      • 1 Year Ago
      I honestly don't think that moving upmarket would help at all. Scion is big with younger customers, and moving away from the typical low-budgets of this population will kill sales. In an era where fewer young people are buying cars and where younger people have less and less money to spare, it is nice to see a car brand targeted at younger customers. Ideal Scion lineup *Ditch the iQ for one of Toyota's numerous kei cars. The Daihatsu Move is quirky enough to bring in younger buyers, but is practical enough to actually sell n the U.S, if rebadged as a Scion. They should package it with the 1.3 engine from the iQ and sell t for around $12 k. * Scion has been considering a small RWD hatchback for a long time. Make the next xD RWD, as a fun-to drive alternative to the Yaris. Price it at $16000. Target weight: 2300 pounds. Give it 2 high reving 4 cylinder engines: a 1.3 from the iQ, but tuned to 140 hp, and the 1.8 from the Corolla tuned to 180 ho, *The current xB is dumbed down from the last xB n every way possible. For the next gen, reduce the weight. Rebadge the Toyota BB as the next xB. Engine: 1.5 from the Yaris. $17 k. *Scion should have a small CUV, based off the Daihatsu Terios. $19 k. Engine: 1.8 from Corolla *The tC should be a four door coupe as weel as a 2 door. Reposition it as a sporty alternative to the Corolla. Toyota's 2.0 3ZR-FAE with 160 hp could do the trick. Price: $20 k. *New Supra as a Mustang/ Gen Coupe competitor. They should develop an inline 6, around 3.6 liters n displacement. 320 hp. Turbo version to take on the GT with 430 hp. Target weight: 3300 pounds.Price: $30 k. *New MR2. High revving 2.5 from Camry with around 250 hp. Target weight: 2400 pounds. Price: $35 k.
      Jimmy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I call BS and April fools, they have Lexus for upmarket.
      Kiran
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they want to move upmarket, so will the 1990s interior and the price
      Tom
      • 1 Year Ago
      April fools
      izziro
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is an April Fools joke right?
      William Flesher
      • 1 Year Ago
      What a clever strategy by Toyota. Who wouldn't want to increase profits by taking their brand upmarket? Release "the news" on April 1st, and see if it flys. When the blogosphere laughs it's collective ass off, but fondly remembers the original Scions for their cheap but unique qualities, Toyota can claim it was all a joke. And a pretty good one at that. If it convinces Toyota to bring back small inexpensive cars that have no direct competitors, Scion might become relevant again. Maybe they'll realize that the market they created with the XB was eaten by the Kia Soul when the XB went "bigger and more upmarket". Or that the XA city car's success has been usurped by the Fiat 500 and Chevy Spark. They might even realize that the second gen TC was the THIRD model they replaced that was a step in the wrong direction. The FRS is a fantastic car, but it would most likely have sold better and more profitably as a Toyota Celica. God knows Toyota itself could have used a dose of legitimate driver's enthusiasm. Great Joke Toyota. Now you can concentrate again on hitting the market where it isn't. My suggestion? An inexpensive, NAFTA built, truly compact truck.
      Mr. Sled
      • 1 Year Ago
      Scion is not premium. It should NEVER be. You think Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti could have ever come from Scion? It took decades to establish those brands as legit upscale brands. I feel like Toyota must be taking crazy pills!!!
      bonehead
      • 1 Year Ago
      sure why not, and while they are at it, toyota should make that car a shared model with lexus cause hey lexus needs a scion like car right? Come to think of it why not sell just one car and give it different names under scion, toyota, and lexus. That should work just fine!
      Jim
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought it was a brand for youthful fun products sold at a good price. If they got back to their roots for the product line, they may make a success of it. Move up market? Are you kidding me?
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