After close to 15 years, Toyota is killing off the Scion brand it launched in 2002 to appeal to younger buyers, reports Automotive News.
The brand will be scrapped as quickly as this August, the automaker said, and its current lineup folded into Toyota’s as 2017 models.
Toyota launched the brand in 2002 in the U.S., but only brought it to Canada in late 2010. While initially a hit among its target demographic – younger buyers Toyota just couldn’t reach with its core product – sales slowed to a trickle after the recession of 2009.
Officially, Toyota says the reason the Scion brand is going away because of a change in that demographic’s attitude—they’re no longer turned off by buying the sorts of vehicles their parents do, making Scion superfluous, says the News.
“Youth buyers are in a completely different position than they were 13 years ago,” Bob Carter, senior vice-president of operations for Toyota Motor Sales told the outlet. “That’s really what’s driving this decision.”
The Scion iM and FR-S will be rebadged as Toyota products for the 2017 model year, and the Scion CH-R concept, the production version of which is set to go on sale in 2017, will also be re-labeled a Toyota. The tC Coupe will be discontinued, as was already planned.
Toyota dealerships will continue to handle warranty, servicing and financing issues. “There’s absolutely no change to the consumer. Everything remains the same,” said Carter. “We’re simply changing the brand and the logos.”
Scion sold more than a million small cars over the 13 years it spent in the North American market; roughly 25,000 of those purchases happened in Canada, where it averaged sales of roughly 4,000 to 5,000 units per year.
Its peak year here was 2012, two years after the brand’s introduction to Canada, when it sold 5,783 cars.