This article is on the car division of Toyota. For others, see Scion (disambiguation).
Scion is a United States-only division of Toyota Motor Corporation founded in 2003. It is also a brand of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. It currently has three models: the Scion xA also known as the Scion xA white and xB (both rebadged Japanese market cars, named ist and bB, respectively) and the tC (a new design based on the European-market Toyota Avensis). Scion's long-term goal is to appeal to Generation Y consumers, expected to dwarf the market size of Generation X by 2020. Scion grew from Toyota Project Genesis, a failed effort to bring younger buyers to the Toyota marque in the United States. Scion is Toyota's entry-level brand, slotting below Toyota in the lineup.
Scion uses sales tools such as Pure Price, innovative Internet advertisements, and monospec trim levels with a wide selection of aftermarket accessories. Extensive market research and testing with Generation Y consumers formed the basis of the Scion badge.
Pure Price means the price posted, whether on the vehicle, in an advertisement, or on a menu display board in the dealership, is the price customers will pay. This includes vehicles, accessories, finance and insurance products. Pure price is designed to ensure a shorter and simpler process, eliminating all negotiation. The concept aims to be open and consistent. The concept is not new to the American market, having been introduced in the early 1990s by the Geo and Saturn marques of General Motors.
Scion's sales approach thus differs greatly from that of the larger Toyota entity. In the United States, for instance, the Toyota Camry offers several trim levels: the standard sedan (for budget-conscious drivers), the LE (popularly equipped), SE (for sporty drivers), and XLE (for luxury-minded drivers). In contrast, all Scions have one standard trim level (monospec) and are designed to be uniquely customized for the driver. The only options available when ordering a Scion are model, color, transmission, and optional Side-Curtain Airbags.
Post Production accessories
Scion offers about 40 different accessories; other after-market companies are adding new accessories, as well. For example, one can add a subwoofer, different types of decals, canvas roofs, and other accessories. The tC now offers an optional supercharger to increase power from 160 to 200 hp (120 to 150 kW). All accessories are sold individually, and do not require special packages. However some options, such as Ground Effects, do prevent other accessories (such as mud flaps) from being installed.
Target BuyersMTV's Pimp My Ride featured the Scion xB, which is the top-selling Scion with about 40% of the market share. The tC has been very well received with brisk sales. CNW Marketing research concluded in a long-term study of “dust to dust” energy costs for passenger vehicles that the Scion xB was the most energy efficient car of 2005. According to the site, "The research tracked and calculated the energy cost of each model sold in the U.S. in 2005 from initial concept to the projected time it is scrapped." The xB costs $.48 per mile to drive over its lifetime, whereas in comparison the Toyota Prius costs $3.25 per mile.
Scion advertising includes the disclaimer "Some vehicles featured are modified with non-Genuine Scion parts. Check with your local Scion dealer as some accessories may void warranty, negatively impact vehicle performance and may not be street legal." This is due to ads featuring modified or completely remade Scion vehicles. Most notable are conversions by the 5-Axis team, which include an xB with a rear-sliding DJ mix board, a tC with a hidden widescreen plasma screen, and (most recently) an xA roadster with under-hood video projectors. These and many other advertised vehicles cannot be purchased/created at official Scion dealerships and, as stated, may not even be legally driven.