Although there have been reports to the contrary, Scion is still investigating the feasibility of bringing a convertible version of the FR-S to market.
One of the challenges facing the car is that Subaru, co-creator of the FR-S, does not want a convertible version of its sports car, the BRZ.
“It’s something we’re looking at internally from both a manufacturing standpoint – where do we build something that’s relatively low-volume, if not at Subaru,” Doug Murtha, VP for Scion in the U.S told Ward’s Auto. “And from an engineering standpoint, where are those resources going to come from to do it,” said Murtha.
Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru’s parent company, builds both the BRZ and FR-S, so if Toyota wishes to build a convertible, they would have to do it themselves. “When you look at their [Subaru] global volume relative to our global volume and convert that to their potential share of the convertible segment, and it’s probably more in Toyota’s interest to pursue a vehicle like that,” said Murtha.
Toyota and Scion have requested that every dealer turn in projected volume targets if they wish to sell the convertible, just for a sense of exactly how many units the brand’s would be able to move.
Sales of the FR-S have been pretty strong so far, with 18,327 units moved last year. Still, that is short of Toyota’s goal of 20,000 sales in the US. The third year of sports car sales is usually when the numbers start to fall, so no doubt Toyota will be watching closely and weighing its options for more FR-S variants over the next year.
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[Source: Ward’s Auto]
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