Scion could be considering a change in its brand direction in an effort to reinvigorate sales and seek new customers.
Where would that change go? Farther market to the burgeoning entry-level luxury segment — something the German brands are already starting to milk. It’s a conversation that originally started with the brand’s birth: to aim Scion vehicles at budget-savers from Korea or the low end of the luxury market.
“We were torn at what direction to go,” Toyota’s North American CEO, Jim Lentz said to Automotive News. “We could go any of those directions.”
The FR-S took Scion to a more expensive level, and there’s more potential for that to grow with the Toyota-badged convertible version of the car shown last month in Geneva. But bringing the convertible over to Scion would mean a price increase creeping into the high 20,000 range.
When Scion launched, budget vehicles were available for around $13,000. While there are still cars priced at that level, Lentz said the market is moving up. ”Today it’s hard to find much value below $18,000 to $20,000. There’s going to be a big need in the $25,000 range for a fun-to-drive, nice-looking, value-oriented product.”
While it isn’t clear yet if moving to a more expensive model range will really help Scion, the flexibility is there. A rear-wheel drive vehicle could easily spawn from the FR-S while less expensive front-wheel drive cars to compete with Mercedes’ new CLA would also be easy for the brand to cobble together.
[Source: Automotive News]
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