Toyota Gives Dealers Permission To Drop Scion

2013 Scion FR-S

Toyota has given permission to its dealers to drop the Scion brand from their line-ups in the wake of lagging sales. This would come without penalties of any kind and would allow dealers who aren’t seeing the sales they need from the brand an easy way out. Peak sales for Scion came seven years ago back in 2006 with 173,034 units sold. Sales have been on a downward slide ever since.

The idea is that the youth-oriented brand is being carried in too many dealerships, so if some choose to stop carrying it altogether, that may actually help the dealers that choose to keep it on their lots. This news comes as Toyota announces pricing and features for the 2014 Scion line that include standard touch-screens on every vehicle.

There are currently 1,225 Toyota dealers with a majority 1,000 of them carrying the Scion brand. It was only expected that about half of all dealers would carry the brand when it was launched back in 2003 so if some dealers choose to drop it that could put things more in line with initial expectations.

The wide early adoption was due in large part to the success of two specific vehicles in the line. Both the Scion xB hatchback and the Scion tC coupe were very successful and had dealers chomping at the bit to get Scions on their lots. They grabbed exactly the youth market that was their target, but the brand has failed to maintain that momentum and build upon that early success.

Dealers that do choose to stick with the brand could be seeing new and updated vehicles to spice up their offerings, although it doesn’t look like there have been a lot of changes for the 2014 model year. The Scion Display Audio System which has a 6.1 inch LCD touch-screen is the big news and is aimed squarely at that youth market who expects cars with tech and who Toyota needs to lure back to the brand.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.