click on above image to view high-res gallery of the 2008 Scion xB
With Honda's imminent release of a hybrid model rumored to start around $18,500 and therefore undercutting the price of the Toyota Prius, a hybrid model from Toyota's entry-level Scion brand could be in the offing. It would make some sense, considering that Scion's sales spiked when gas prices hit the $4.00 a gallon mark before falling again. What's more, overall web site hits for the Scion brand are way down compared to its heyday just a few years back. Part of the problem is that young buyers, the original core market for the entire Scion brand, are looking elsewhere.
Jack Hollis, Scion's vice president, says, "A fourth product is essential. It could be an SUV. It could be a hybrid. We want a fourth product that buyers of the other three Scions don't like.". A fuel-efficient hybrid could fit that bill and give Toyota something which would complete directly with Honda's upcoming hybrid on level ground.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]