Or was this for the best?
It was a good idea. Actually it was a great idea. Thirteen years ago, Toyota created a brand to cater to young individuals who put a premium on customization and individuality. At the New York Auto Show in 2002, Scion unveiled its first two concepts that would later be turned into production models with the xB and tC. In 2004 the automaker came out with the xA and formally introduced the xB, while the tC came out in 2005. In 2007 the xD was introduced. Looking at Scion’s lineup, it’s clear to see that not much has changed and why the brand died.
While Toyota wanted to cater to younger individuals with Scion, it failed to realize one thing—young people quickly change their minds quickly. Just think about this: When a new iPhone comes out, younglings go out of their way to snag it. Unfortunately cars aren't cycled through as quickly as smartphones. What else did Scion do wrong? How about its competition? When cross-shopping Scion’s vehicles against the competition, there were much better alternatives even under Toyota’s massive umbrella. To put it kindly, Scion was irrelevant, even from Toyota’s perspective.
Take the iA sedan as an example. Toyota’s own Corolla looks better, is more powerful and has more standard features. So why would anyone buy the iA? The same idea can be said for the rest of Scion’s lineup and sheds some light into why the automaker only sold 56,167 cars last year. Unbelievably, Scion’s lack of development in both cars and marketing led to a buyer with an average age of 49. Every vehicle besides the FR-S was a failure. The lack of new models, any type of major changes to the brand and the idea behind catering to a specific part of the market killed Scion. To be frank, Scions were crap, but I’m definitely going to miss the brand.
In the right hands, Scion could’ve been great. Instead of using the brand as an experiment, Toyota could have created stuff that young enthusiasts really want in a car—speed, good looks, technology and so forth. At its height, Scion sold 173,034 in 2006, which meant that Toyota was on to something. If Toyota hadn’t treated Scion like a degenerate child and kept it in a closet, it would’ve thrived. Because what other automaker is solely aimed at the up-and-coming generation (aka millennials)?