A change at the helm at Scion will not bring with it a change in philosophy, he tells AutoGuide.com.
“We’re going to try to … keep a foot in the performance segment,” says Murtha, but “Our mandate it to experiment.” That said, while updates for the FR-S will come, don’t expect more performance models from the brand.
Rather than focus Scion on performance, Murtha outlines how the FR-S has worked as a draw to reinvigorate the brand and its other products, helping raise awareness and grow sales of its other models.
He admits skeptics worried that the FR-S would draw attention away from the rest of the Scion lineup. “There was potential it would be the only story,” he says, but instead, “it’s helping the brand in a big way.”
In addition, there were worries that the FR-S would not hit the brand’s demographic target. Being more expensive, buyers could skew older. That hasn’t happened, he says, with the average age of FR-S buyers currently sitting at 31 – making its buyers one of the youngest in the industry.
As for what’s next for Scion, Murtha did confirm to AutoGuide that reports that the xB and xD models would be “sunsetted” were inaccurate. While not commenting on future product he did admit that past rumors of a compact pickup for Scion were more a reflection of the personal desires of his predecessor Jack Hollis, than actual product strategy or market demand.
As for what direction Scion is headed in from here, Murtha says, “We have always been somewhat of an eclectic lineup. No one size fits all. No clear common thread historically.” Moving forwards, “That’s the game plan,” he says.