The 13-year experiment known as Scion is officially coming to an end.
Toyota announced today that the Scion brand, which first launched in 2003, will be phased out after the 2016 model year.
From model year 2017 on, the iA, iM and FR-S will be rebadged as Toyotas. The tC coupe will finish out the model year and won’t be replaced, although Toyota states that there will be a “final release” version similar to the xB, which ended its run in 2015.
Also starting with the 2017 model year, the Scion FR-S will become a Toyota 86. Straight from the New York auto show, Andre gets the scoop on the agile sports coupe in this ‘everything you ever wanted to know’ video.
Scion was created by Toyota as a way to draw in more younger buyers, as the Toyota brand was typically bought by older people. While they have had some success – the average age of a Scion buyer is 36, according to Toyota, and about half of all iA and iM models sold were bought by people under 35 – Scion’s position as an incubator for experiments led to some brand dilution over the years.
The xB box on wheels was a surprising success for the brand when it came out in 2003 and remains the signature model for the brand, although the second generation didn’t resonate nearly as well with consumers. However, despite the drop in sales after the second generation’s release, it is still the second-best-selling model after the tC coupe.
The death of Scion is not a surprise. Outside of the U.S., all of the Scion models that will continue after 2016 are sold as Toyotas – or as a Mazda in the case of the iA sedan. North of the border, the iA is called the Toyota Yaris sedan. The FR-S is known around the world as the Toyota GT86 – a much better name, although Celica would be even better. The iM is the Auris in Europe and just a Corolla in Australia and Asia.
Toyota hasn’t said whether the models themselves will have the same names – like Toyota iA – or get new model names. UPDATE: Toyota confirmed that the models will keep their current names.
What do you think of the death of Scion? Start the conversation in the comments below.
Check out this TFLcar video mashup of the automatic and manual versions of the 2016 Scion iM: