The Scion Brand is Dead


Toyota has made it official: the Scion brand is dead. 

Scion will now transition back into the Toyota brand, which means that the FR-S, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback will be badged as Toyotas beginning in August of 2016. Scion’s other vehicle, the tC coupe, will get one last release series special edition before it is discontinued in August of 2016.

Scion became its own brand in 2003 and was an attempt by Toyota to attract younger customers. The brand never really caught on, with slow sales, long product droughts and many reports claiming that average buyers were in their late 40s.

SEE ALSO: Scion FR-S Variants in Doubt Due to Poor Sales

“This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota. Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network,” said Jim Lentz, founding vice president of Scion and now CEO, Toyota Motor North America. “I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. I’m very proud because that’s exactly what we have accomplished.”

According to the brand, the decision to kill off Scion is driven by “today’s younger buyers,” who want fun-to-drive vehicles which are practical and reliable, a combination of traits that executives believe Toyota can deliver.

SEE ALSO: Scion xB Finally Gets the Axe

Sales began to tumble in 2007 at Scion and things never quite turned around. Even the FR-S sports car, regarded as a return to the cheap, lightweight classic sports cars was not enough to save the brand, with strong sales initially that rapidly tapered off.

Scion’s 22 person team will be offered new jobs within Toyota Motor Sales, USA.

Scion owners will continue to visit Toyota dealerships to have their cars serviced.

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  • Grman Rodriguez

    “‘today’s younger buyers,’ who want fun-to-drive vehicles which are practical and reliable, a combination of traits that executives believe Toyota can deliver”

    So Scion car were either boring, unpractical or unreliable?

  • Riiiiiiiick

    Maybe I can pick up a lightly used FR-S for even cheaper now.

  • timothyhood

    Ha, ha, no, that’s just marketing double-speak for “Scion failed to attract the customers we were hoping it would, so why bother with a separate brand if Scion buyers would be Toyota buyers anyway?”

  • Mark S

    Wonder if the local dealer will help me rebadge my FR-S for a Toyota. That said, did not catch if the FR-S will now be the Toyota FR-S or ideally the Toyota GT86 that the rest of the world enjoys.

  • Mark S

    Do it! Car is great fun! There were some issues with the 2013 (lights, no knee pads), but still see a lot of them around. The earlier ones have slightly different suspension set ups, but unless you are tracking the car, not sure you will notice much.

  • Ji Dosha

    Possibly, but then they’d jack the price up to BRZ pricing.

  • I think it was more that Toyota tried to get 18-25-year-old buyers, and instead got middle-agers like me. Of course, while anecdote != data, I have found my xB to be practical and reliable, though I’d rather have an interior not made of tackle-box plastic. 😉

  • Not that I’m going to sell my car–I tend to drive my cars until they wear out, so I have about 150,000 miles to go–but I wonder what effect this will have on the resale value of Scion cars?

  • Paul

    This news after the local dealership just moved to a new building and put up new Scion signs as well. I guess the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing with corporate HQ.

  • Ninja250

    Xb was unique, but Kia built a better, higher quality, copy called the Soul. The switchgear on all the Scions feels cheap, like it would break off in your hand on day one. Most Scion exteriors are hideous, but what is worse, so are the interiors – everything about Scion screams cheap, even to a twenty-something. Without exception, every Scion model is underpowered and overpriced. The FR-S could have sold if it had been built with a turbo boxer engine and AWD, but it was way too underpowered for the target market. Toyota desperately needs to close Calty Design Research and fire everyone there. The last decent designs Toyota ever made were the W20 MR2’s from 1989–1999, the T180 Celicas from 1989–1993, and the A80 Supra from 1992–2002. I previously owned a W20 MR2 and a T180 Celica which were GREAT cars. It’s getting close to 20 years since Toyota has built anything of note, with the possible exception of the expensive Highlander Hybrid. I was just at the North American International Auto Show and Toyota has absolutely nothing – even GM’s offerings look better. Plus, they are wasting resources building the hydrogen Mirai, which can be fueled at maybe 8 locations (when their working) in LA county. Toyota’s glory days in the ’90’s seem to be well behind them.

  • Mark S

    Yep, think “Pure Pricing” is down the pan.

  • Mark S

    Maybe not a lot. This is not like Saab losing everything or even orphan brands like Saturn that at least had some shared parts with GM product, this is a re-badge. 😉 maybe the prices will go up (I can dream!).

  • Mark S

    If they had told the dealers, the car sites would have known in hours!

  • Nasmir Fellows

    Auto industry is becoming more and more vanilla.

  • Nasmir Fellows

    xA along with 1st Gen xB was a quality piece (xD was not too bad either). it’s a shame it is now gone.

  • Nasmir Fellows

    Prices on xB and xA first Gen may rise, moreso than the xB and xD second Gen since the first models represented the glory days of Scion.

  • Nasmir Fellows

    Doubt it the badge is gone not the name, yet.

  • Nasmir Fellows

    Do you have the 1st or 2nd Gen xB and what year

  • Nasmir Fellows

    Only exclusively sold in NA, was probably why:}

  • I have a 2011 2nd Gen xB. Overall, I’m happy with it, though I would have liked better fuel economy, rear seats that fold down all the way, better interior composition, and a less ridiculous dashboard. 😀

  • True. In fact, Saturn and Scion share a lot of similarities–some of the last Saturns to roll off the line were just rebadged Opels, and the rest were barely altered GMs or even Vauxhall/Chevrolets! By the same token, all Scions were sold elsewhere under different names, even the ones that weren’t rebadged like the iA. The second generation xB, for instance, is known in Asia as the Corolla Rumion, and in Australia as the Corolla Rukus.

  • Mr Bill

    Somehow the phrase ‘fun to drive’ and the name Toyota in the same sentence just doesn’t jive.

  • roundthings

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out

  • roundthings

    If they were smart they would call it the Toyota Celica

  • Mark S

    Maybe I prefer GT86. This name already has a lot of a global appeal and the increase the AE86 link. GT86 branding in Europe, Australia, etc. already strong – they can play on that a bit.

  • smartacus

    yes You are EXACTLY right! Celica is more historically correct!
    It used to be a low slung rwd sporty coupe until 1985 when it switched to fwd.
    GT86 is a link to AE86, which was a Corolla Levin

  • smartacus


  • rbchamp

    Had a Spazda. What a piece of crap rebadged furd. Not crazy about a Corolla but at least its reliable.

  • smartacus

    You already had a Scion iA? What were its biggest detriments?
    hey, do you think they will cannibalize each other? or will iA just flop?

  • They were only sold as Scion models in North America. All Scion models were sold elsewhere as Toyotas.

  • Dominic Brissette

    Mazda was never “a rebadged furd” except for the Tribute and b-series pickup

    They had a joint partnership with Ford and Volvo in which engineers from the 3 companies worked together to create platforms they could share (mazda3-focus-v40, mazda6-fusion, etc.) and Ford never owned more than 30% of mazda’s shares, which mazda bought back completely a few years ago.

    Please educate yourself more before unloading a hunk of shit on mazda

  • rbchamp

    Geez you’re so smart!

  • John Gabe

    Autism is a great word to define you.

  • smartacus

    short, poor, virgin are great words to define you

  • James Tunnell

    Hate much the Scions? My experience differs greatly. I do like the look of the Kia, but I find that most of what I read about it is actually inferior to the xB. First… I find that my car has plenty of power. The Kia you mentioned that is so awesome? It has LESS power than the xB, it’s SLOWER than the xb by a full second on 0-60. It’s upgraded engine has 16 LESS horses, and 32 over the base vs the Scion! I have owned this car for 6 years too. Not ONE single mechanical problem. Only tires, brakes and oil changes. Nothing. I also find the interior pretty good. It’s held up to 140k so far with no major rattles or squeaks. I dig the instrumentation in the center. I find at my height the steering wheel usually covers up the instruments. No problem in the xB. Nothing has broken off in the interior yet on the 09. If I wrecked it tomorrow I’d be getting another one.

  • James Tunnell

    My only gripe about my xB….Meh fuel economy.

  • Ninja250

    Glad to hear the xB works for you! I personally found the center instrumentation annoying, much like the various Prius models, but I would be curious to know if the Soul’s tilt/telescoping wheel would alleviate your line of sight problems to the dash? Don’t get me wrong – I WAS a fan of Toyota vehicles. We got 205,000 miles on our 1991 Celica GT before it was sold and still it ran another 40k miles before a family teenager totaled it. Like your Scion, it only needed tires, brakes and oil. But the later Toyota models were built with a LOT of cost cutting inside and out. For instance, the caliper bolts on the ’91 were stainless steel – a joy to remove when replacing brakes. Later models were cheap steel, no better than GM. Interiors on the 90’s models were much better integrated too, while later models looked like a collection of hung-on aftermarket parts (sorry, we’ll just have to disagree on the look and feel of the switch gear) . While we don’t own a Kia Soul, we do have sister company Hyundai’s 2006 Sonata, currently with 128,000 miles, and no repairs. Toyota (and Honda) was on the short list in 2006, but the Sonata had a roomier, better looking interior (but admittedly a pretty bland exterior). It was $2-3k less than Toyota or Honda and has proven to be at least as durable as the 90’s Toyota lineup. I’d love to see Toyota back on top – but they really need some changes at Calty Design if they hope to compete with the rest of the world again.

  • Perry F. Bruns

    You said it.

  • James Tunnell

    Being my height, I find that I love the center dash. Most cars, not just small ones, I find that part of the instrumentation is often blocked. It’s never obstructed in the center by the wheel. At first it was irritating, but now I find it behind the wheel on other vehicles truly aggravating. I’m converted.

    Two things I find useless in the Scion. The tilt wheel which has basically no travel and that goofy armrest. The tilt makes me glad the gauges are in the center cause it would have no positive effect on ability to see the gauges.

    My girlfriend just totaled her 09 xD, and we replaced it with a 2008 xB that we got for a song. Banged up a little, but runs like a top. Just like mine. No mechanical problems. 165k. It’s a 5 speed. I find the shifter kind of clunky in it, but it works well. I totally dig how comfortable it is up on the dash vs the floor though.

    Overall? Fit and finish are pretty good. With the exception of some stuff from the 80s and 90s from GM, I have had good luck with their products too. My prior vehicle was a 2001 S10 with a 4.3 V6. Could pull a house down with it. In almost 9 years I put two fuel pumps on it and a radiator. The pumps were damaged by bad fuel…long story. The radiator? It was time. Great truck.

    Maybe I am just easily pleased on this scion. But I have never had a car 7 years almost without one single mechanical problem. Ever.

  • James Tunnell

    The 5 speed does a little better but still not what I’d like.