There’s a lot of talk swirling around right now that the Scion brand will be euthanized today. If this is true—and that remains a big if—it is just making official something that might as well have been real for a while: Scion is dead. Update: It’s official. Toyota will transition the Scion cars back to the Toyota brand instead.
I have some emails and calls out to Toyota officials to get official confirmation, which we may get anyway at 9 a.m. today, but, if we’re totally honest, all this means is that someone at the mothership is finally calling it.
The as-yet-unconfirmed rumors showed up on the aptly-named-for-this CarBuzzard late yesterday, where they reported that:
At a top-secret meeting this afternoon, employees were told that the division, which started with the xA and xB in 2002 as 2003 models, wouldn’t see it’s 14thanniversary. Those who were laid off were told they would need to reapply for other jobs at Toyota, which also means moving to Texas. A formal announcement will be made tomorrow morning at 9 am.
Motor Trend and AutoGuide are running with the report too. (It’s also worth nothing that CarBuzzard’s site is now down, perhaps from this glut of sudden traffic.) We remain skeptical until we hear officially.
The timing does seem a bit strange, considering two new cars meant to re-vitalize Scion’s lineup, the iM and the iA, are just now hitting dealerships, which would suggest Toyota isn’t really all that interested in giving those cars a chance to see what they can do for the marque.
The truth is Scion’s relevance has been gone since at least 2006, with the redesign of the original xB, and with it, any car that really made the brand stand out from Toyota.
Sure, there’s fans of the nicely-proportioned tC, and, of course, Scion got the great Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 as the FR-S, but beyond that, there hasn’t been much to really differentiate the brand.