No new products for Scion in coming years, says Toyota CEO

Article by Anita Panait, on November 6, 2013

Akio Toyoda, president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Corp., has admitted that there won’t be new products coming soon for its struggling Scion brand. Nevertheless, he is urging Scion dealers to hang on for a few more years. In an interview with Automotive News, Toyoda said that they will continue with Scion, but noted that since Toyota has limited resources, there is a need to prioritize. 

Toyota is currently focusing on catering to demands on its global empire, including fresh investments into Lexus, new fuel-efficient drivetrains and even trucks. He said that Toyota cannot do everything at once.

Toyoda has frozen all capacity expansion projects, partly due to a concern that Toyota was trying to do too much at once. Toyota’s top honcho said the freeze won't be lifted soon. He noted that the Japanese carmaker is still in regrouping mode following events like the global financial crisis, unintended-acceleration recalls and the 2011 Japan earthquake.

Toyoda said that the carmaker is now primed to go on the offensive again with better products, thanks to a refocus on customer needs and Toyota's new modular development strategy. He said that going on the offensive means “making ever-better cars and changing the way in which we produce cars."

Toyoda told Automotive News that they expect to see “a totally changed landscape” in their plants. He added that it will be a few years before the Scion lineup will have a new product. He implied that Scion has wandered from its original mission, which is “to do what the Toyota brand couldn't." Toyoda said Scion is for attracting “customers who weren't satisfied by Toyota or who might be future Toyota customers."

The FR-S in the sports car’s moniker basically means “Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Sport.” This means that the FR-S is simply how Scion defines a true rear-wheel-drive sports car that combines superb balanced performance, excellent handling and enticing design, as well as flexible utility and splendid fuel efficiency.

Indeed, the new FR-S is a true "scion” as it was born from Toyota’s long history of creating performance cars and delving into motorsports. It takes inspiration from the AE86 generation of the Toyota Corolla, which is widely known as the Hachi-Roku (Japanese term for 8-6). Featuring a front-mounted engine sending power to the wheels, the AE86 was a lightweight and well-balanced coupe that was well-loved by driving enthusiasts.

With the AE86 serving as its inspiration, the new Scion FR-S was designed to achieve "Pure Balance." The FR-S plans to achieve this core goal by employing a flat boxer engine in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration. Since the engine features a flat shape and a compact size, it could be mounted low and mid-ship, allowing the FR-S an advantageous front-to-rear weight ratio of 53:47 as well as a low center of gravity similar to some supercars.

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Topics: scion, toyota

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