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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30: Scion - time to move on?

Scion? Scion? What comes to your mind, if anything, when you hear this word. Probably you are thinking, "How do I pronounce it?". But being a car blog, obviously I'm referring to that poor little offspring of Toyota. Originally started in the US way back in 2003, to get the attention and the dollars of the hip younger demographic. Yeah, those folks who wouldn't normally give Toyota a second look or a first one. Toyota figured a funky little car with unique marketing would get them into the showroom. The result?


This Japanese market mini-mini van, with a style that was all the rage in its homeland, landed here as one of Scion's first products (the second was a forgettable also ran). Cool in an unusual way, this model begged to be individualized (note the wheels above) in a multitude of ways.........


For awhile this little bread box was red hot and selling to that longed for, hip younger crowd, but like everything it eventually had to be redesigned, so what did Toyota do?


Yep, this lump was their follow up. Sure, it also had its buyers, but much less than the original, so Scion's original consumer went elsewhere. The brand languished, until the joint Toyota/Subaru sports coupe hit the market with the Scion FR-S name......


No problem selling this model, but it had nothing to do with their preferred demographic and had everything to do with value for the dollar. This is a great little car.

But back to the original idea: get the younger folks into a Scion and eventually move them up to a (more responsible?) Toyota. Try to re-energize the brand. So on the brand awareness created by the sporty FR-S, Scion will soon be releasing two brand new models.

The first is the iM, a Matrix like hatchback, that looks way too much like the last Mazda3 Sport. In fact, in side view, it is almost identical. So much so that, I had to re-check my pics to make sure that I was actually showing both cars. Notice the similarity, even down to those curvy rims (the blue one is the Scion)........

And as a companion model, Scion will introduce the iA.........



Of course, this doesn't look familiar to my US and Canadian readers, but it is the Mazda2 sedan that, is sold elsewhere and in fact is being built in Mexico for those hoped for Scion buyers. The red pic shows the Mazda version. To differentiate it, Scion has added that strange looking snout. Want to see the family resemblance to the iM?


No, I don't see it either. 

You want to know what I call this? Desparation. Let's try to invigorate the Scion brand by introducing two "new" models, but let's not invest too heavily, in case the whole thing doesn't fly. My opinion? I think that the Mazda3 clone will find some success with those folks who miss the Matrix hatchback, while the Mazda2 clone will languish along side it in the showrooms, before being quietly discontinued within a couple of years.

Come on, Scion, surely you can do better than this.

Until next time........



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