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

Article by Christian A., 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.

The new Scion FR-S debuts a fierce exterior which is a compact reflection of the car’s inner power. Its profile which is inspired by the Toyota 2000GT exposes an outstandingly sleek and low hood and a roofline which gives the car an aerodynamic look that directs air cleanly at the top. Its low stance seeks to overstate the menacing face of the coupe made up of harp lines, wider lower intake as well as angular headlights that lodge the halogen lamps which are projector-beam.

To highlight the model’s AE86 heritage and distinctive new boxer engine, its front fenders are set to protrude upward and emphasize the symbolic ‘86’ piston emblem. The rear fascia is also set to sit low and wide combined with aerodynamic lower treatment around the athletic dual exhaust system. Its edgy taillights now come in LED and the center-mounted backup lights contribute to the car’s muscular design a well.

The Scion FR-S comes in seven colors including Ultramarine, Whiteout, Raven, Firestorm, Asphalt, Argento and Hot Lava.

Performance-focused Interior

The Scion FR-S’ interior features a 2+2 eating configuration which is designed for both function and form. Its relaxed yet forceful front seats highlight a deep set of bolsters mounted extremely low, paired with rear seats that fold down flat and create a flexible space. It also comes in unique and standard floor mats which are FR-S badged.

Its three-gauge clutter sets focus on the large and center-mounted tachometer which highlights a programmable shift-indicator that has a small yet forceful light indicator that shows when the redline is reached. The driver can also set the indicator to go off when a 100-rpm increment is reached, starting at an initial increment of 2,000 rpm. When redline is approached, a chime may be set to sound as the speed is also monitored by gauges, both analog and digital.

This model features as well a leather-trimmed and performance-oriented steering wheel with telescopic and tilt adjustments and a diameter of 365 mm.

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Topics: scion, united states

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