It’s no secret that the Scion brand has failed to live up to parent company Toyota’s expectations. Even refreshed versions of their tC and xB models failed to bring buyers into showrooms; worse yet, the customers that Scion seems to attract are at the opposite end of their “youth brand” demographic. Many critics are wondering when Toyota admit that the Scion experiment failed, and pull the plug before the division’s losses have a negative impact on the parent company.
Not so fast, says none other than Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motors. In a roundtable discussion with journalists on Monday, Toyoda was quoted by AutoWeek as saying, “There is no concern, no danger for Scion in the future.” Toyoda feels that the brand is feeling an exaggerated impact from the extended U.S. recession, as many under 30 potential buyers find themselves unemployed or underemployed. Tightened credit restrictions further limit the pool of potential Scion customers.
That said, it’s Toyoda’s position that the Scion brand must focus on fun-to-drive vehicles that feature, in his words, “exhilaration and excitement.” Maybe there is some truth to the rumor of a Scion branded FT-86 after all.