Scion’s identity crisis
Scion dealers to older customers: GET OFF MY LAWN! (and kindly go to the Toyota part of the showroom.) Scion was originally launched in 2002 to combat Toyota’s trend of have an average customer that was older than 40. The idea as simple: a youth-oriented brand that would hook younger people who would later graduate to Toyota products. Unfortunately because all Scions share a showroom with Toyota, they couldn’t hide the cars from the old people.
What happened next is spiral of marketing gone wrong. Either because of a quality product or just wanting to look younger, some older people began creeping up Scion’s average buyer age. Since Scions were only marketed to young people, the mainstream older market stayed away, and now that “old people” were seen in Scions, the younger market began staying away too. Before gas hit $4 a gallon, Scion had experienced 17 straight months of declining sales. April and May saw sales improve dramatically – by 41.5 and 28.4 percent, respectively – but sales once again dipped in June. “If we could relaunch Scion, I wouldn’t ever have called it a youth brand, because it’s a kiss of death,” Brian Bolain, a former Scion corporate manager, told Automotive News. “It creates problems when you start labeling.”
Once the dust settles from high gas prices, Toyota will need to resolve this identity crisis. Whatever this may involve, it will mean drastic changes to Scion in the future.
Source: Leftlane News