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Toyota's perky youth brand is adding dealers but losing sales as 2nd-generation models struggle
MARK RECHTIN, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS


Toyota's cool, quirky Scion youth brand may still be hip but is no longer hot.

Sales, year-on-year, have dropped for 16 straight months. Since August, monthly sales have declined from each previous month, even though dealers have had two redesigned models in their showrooms during that period.

The first-generation Scions were hits right out of the box in 2003 and 2004. But generation two has struggled. All of which begs the question: Is this a brand built to last?

The changeover of two of Scion's three models--the boxy xB and the xD hatchback--dragged on for months and helped depress sales 24.8 percent in 2007 to 130,181 units. But even with new vehicles, Scion can't seem to pull out of its slump.

"We seem to be having more sales peaks and valleys than previously," said Farlon Smith, general manager of Beechmont Toyota-Scion in Cincinnati.

In the past, Scion routinely notched 15,000 to 20,000 sales per month. But January sales were 7,782 units. In January 2006, Scion sold 10,701 vehicles with about 60 fewer dealers than it has now. The average sales per outlet during that period dropped from 11.9 to 8.1.

Scion had 856 dealers as of Jan 1, 2005. But as sales soared in 2005 and 2006, more dealers piled on, even if they weren't in hip, urban neighborhoods.

Currently, 963 of 1,224 Toyota dealers carry the brand. As sales per dealer decline faster than overall volume, one Toyota insider questions whether dealers will give Scion the same share of mind as when vehicles were flying out the door.

Toyota executives insist the soft market is hurting all players and that Scion's grass-roots marketing strategy requires time for the new vehicles to gain sales momentum.


More at Autoweek
 

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My $.02 take.
I see alot of these things being driven by broads around town. No wonder the 'youth' is avoiding them..
The price might also have something to do with it, and their utter ugliness
 

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My $.02 take.
I see alot of these things being driven by broads around town. No wonder the 'youth' is avoiding them..
The price might also have something to do with it, and their utter ugliness
You forgot to add the words "old", or perhaps "drifty".

May I add that around here, lots of older people in general drive them?
 

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You forgot to add the words "old", or perhaps "drifty".

May I add that around here, lots of older people in general drive them?
True, Toyota and Honda are facing the aging problem too, yet, they try hard to look yound, despite building bigger and bigger buicks
 

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I do not think Scion will sink, but, its prices got to come down significantly. Especially now that it seems Ford and GM are going to be bringing 2.4 liter engines to market with Turbos
 

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Perhaps it's because the silly things are so achingly ugly. The first xA did not do well. The Tc is very good looking, but is a bit old now. The first xB was, well, funky. Kind of in the way that the VW Beetle was. The new crop are not ugly enough to be funky, and not funky enough to be desirable.
 

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My $.02 take.
I see alot of these things being driven by broads around town. No wonder the 'youth' is avoiding them..
The price might also have something to do with it, and their utter ugliness
This is what happened to the Honda Element. It has been very successful, but not with the demographic it was intended for. The median age of buyers is something like 10 years older than hoped.

As Bob Lutz says: "You can sell a young mans car to an old guy, but you can't sell an old mans car to a young guy."

Also, and I never see this mentioned, very few young people can afford a new car. So even if they have the expected reaction to a car, they have lots of other expenses and demands on their small incomes.

And many don't really want one, anyway. If they have a car they usually want something old. Not something that is "intended" for them. The very fact that they are being marketed-to so deliberately turns them away. It appears forced and artificial to them. In turn, older folk who refuse to be identified as such buy these youth-intended things to show the world they are not "old" yet. Which, of course, shows just the opposite.
 

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This is what happened to the Honda Element. It has been very successful, but no with the demographic it was intended for. The median age of buyers is something like 10 years older than hoped.

As Bob Lutz says: "You can sell a young mans car to an old guy, but you can't sell an old mans car to a young guy."

Also, and I never see this mentioned, very few young people can afford a new car. So even if they have the expected reaction to a car, they have lots of other expenses and demands on their small incomes.

And many don't really want one, anyway. If they have a car they usually want something old. Not something that is "intended" for them. The very fact that they are being marketed-to so deliberately turns them away. It appears forced and artificial to them. In turn, older folk who refuse to be identified as such buy these youth-intended things to show the world they are not "old" yet. Which, of course, shows just the opposite.
sounds like some sort of midlife crisis
 

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...And many (young people) don't really want one, anyway. If they have a car they usually want something old. Not something that is "intended" for them. The very fact that they are being marketed-to so deliberately turns them away. It appears forced and artificial to them. In turn, older folk who refuse to be identified as such buy these youth-intended things to show the world they are not "old" yet. Which, of course, shows just the opposite.

+1 totally agree
 
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