Scion is modifying its marketing and product-planning approach as its market continues to evolve. "A lot of our early stuff was menacing and sinister, and that appealed to an edgy, cynical consumer," Scion vice president Doug Murtha told Automotive News said in an interview at the Detroit auto show. He said that Scion buyers "want a little more daylight, a little less Gotham,” noting that they have to differentiate the youth brand from Toyota.
Murtha said that while it is enticing to place Gen Y buyers in a convenient psychographic box, the 2004 “millennials” had very different beliefs from those who are reaching driving age today.
He remarked that today’s young adults do not have a strong economy and a cash-rich parental safety net to underpin their values. "We are still targeting 18- to 34-year-olds, but 60 percent of that demographic bucket has changed since we came to market,” Murtha said, noting that their makeup and experiences are different.
He said that their current target market is more resourceful, less self-centered, but is still independent-minded. He remarked that while in 2004, young buyers "expected all the bells and whistles,” they are now more pragmatic “about things they are not able to pay for."
He remarked that while Scion located its pricing range into the mid-$20,000s with the FR-S and has studied placing other cars in that band, it has no intention to lose the value component to the brand. “We need to keep a foot in the entry part of the market," Murtha said.