CARS.COM — Scion, Toyota’s onetime youth-oriented brand, has come to the end of the road. The sudden news today closes the chapter on Scion, whose boxy xB hatchback would become its defining car. Over the course of Scion’s 12-plus years on the market, Toyota says shoppers bought 1.1 million cars, but sales dribbled to just 56,167 units from seven nameplates in 2015. That’s down from Scion’s peak of 173,034 cars in 2006 from just three nameplates.
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Beginning this August, the 2017 Scion FR-S, iA and iM will become Toyota-branded vehicles (i.e., Toyota FR-S, Toyota iA and Toyota iM). The tC will be discontinued. Scion’s C-HR Concept, meanwhile, still will spawn a production vehicle — again, a Toyota model — for the red-hot subcompact SUV segment.
The C-HR could have revived Scion’s flagging sales, given the popularity of tiny SUVs. But the rest of Scion’s lineup, which mostly involved compact and subcompact sedans and hatchbacks, has found little favor with shoppers in an era of $2-a-gallon gasoline and booming SUV sales. Despite a flurry of new products, Scion sales slipped 3.2 percent in 2015 amid an overall industry up 5.7 percent.
Toyota says current Scion owners will be able to service and repair their vehicles at Toyota dealerships. Bob Carter, the automaker’s senior vice president of automotive operations, promised Toyota would “work closely” with Scion’s 1,004 dealerships “to support this process and help communicate this change to customers.”
Scion spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell told Cars.com that for 2017, Scion’s three transitioning models will retain their single-spec trim levels, but Toyota plans to “evaluate what to do for model year ’18.” Scion’s complimentary two-year maintenance program, marketed as Scion Service Boost, folds into Toyota’s two-year ToyotaCare maintenance program (also complimentary), so shoppers will see little change on that front.
There is one change, however. Hubbell said Scion’s no-haggle pricing strategy, dubbed Pure Price, will not carry over once the cars become Toyota products.