In response to a 60% decline in Toyota's youth-oriented Scion brand, chairman and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales USA Yoshimi Inaba wants to expand the lineup to ensure the freshness of the brand.
The Scion was the hardest hit of all of its divisions and Inaba is not taking it lightly. He said that one of his jobs is to revive the Scion spirit in the United States.
Currently, Scion has three vehicles in its lineup: the xB and xD hatchbacks and the tC coupe. The first generation of the xB--a funky, boxy hatchback--was Scion's most successful vehicle.
A redesign in 2008 rendered the xB more usable, but somewhat more conservative in design. To improve sales, Toyota is likely to add vehicles from its foreign markets that don´t jive with its eponymous brand's image in the U.S.
One of those being rumored is the iQ, which fits in with the hip, quirky image carried by Scion. The iQ, which is sold as a Toyota in Japan and Europe, doesn't meet U.S. consumers' expectations for Toyota as a safe, conservative automaker.
Meanwhile, the 2010 Nissan Cube and the 2010 Kia Soul, which recreated the eccentricity of the original xB, have been capitalizing on Toyota's flailing sales.