Scion forced to adapt to the U.S. market in order to boost sales

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 30, 2011

In response to the decline of its sales since 2006, Toyota’s Scion youth brand is adding two brand-new vehicles in its lineup, including a sporty coupe that is worth at least $20,000. The company is also reaching out to areas like the "death metal" music scene in order to expand its underground cultural reach.

The increasing popularity of social media is also pushing Scion to loosen up the way it deals with the Gen Y. If the brand had maintained its original premise, a third generation of its xB would be displayed in showrooms these days. As foreseen by Toyota, the Scion line of products would be unique, hip and won’t be around long enough to get stale.

The brand’s products in its first edition line were only replaced after four years. The xB and xD second generations launched in 2007 are still in showrooms until now but with no sign that they will be replaced anytime soon.

On the other hand, the tC coupe lasted for six years before it was replaced last summer. Lengthened product cycles are just one core change in how Scion functions.

In addition, the brand is forced to adapt as communications arenas, retail processes and product segments, which were once under the radar, have become mainstream. In addition to the introduction of two all-new vehicles, Scion is also changing its approach in retail sales into a little less laid back.

Furthermore, in order to negate the currency disadvantage that hits its current Japan-made lineup, Toyota will probably build Scions in the United States. These changes, however, do not hide Scion’s underlying issues.

The shopper counts and sales have dropped since the second-generation products came, but some of these can be attributable to the recession. Since 2006 when sales of Scion peaked with 173,034 units, the brand’s sales dropped each year to 45,678 in 2010 for the three-vehicle lineup. Through April this year, sales increased 40 percent generally due to the introduction of the new tC coupe.

Topics: scion, united states

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