Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, our parents may have told us. Youth-oriented Scion is too cool to listen to hoary old advice from our platitude-spouting elders, which may explain why the cars that the brand launched with, the xB and the xD’s predecessor—the cars that built Scion, literally, from the ground up, could be killed off for the next biggest thing.
If Scion does, they’ll kill off literally half their product lineup. The xB was the most polarizing of the pair when Scion was launched in 2003, while the xA was the softer, more conventional of the two. The xB survived into its second generation, but its sales did not: from a high of 61,306 sold in 2006, the new xB eked out 17,017 units last year. By comparison, the Kia Soul sold over 100,000 examples last year. Soul, you’ve got soul.
“I think it lost a little bit of its edge,” Toyota CEO Jim Lentz admitted about the xB. “It lost some of its fun-to-drive characteristic. If we could do things over again, we would add a little bit of fun-to-drive back to that vehicle.”
Sales of the xD never hit those of its sibling: from a high of 27,704 units in 2008, Scion only squeezed out a measly 9573 xDs last year. To be fair, its xA predecessor never reached stratospheric sales either, with a high of just 28,033 sold the year before it was killed in 2006. The xD will definitely be first on the chopping block.
So what could Scion replace it with? There’s little surprise that brand managers are intrigued by the idea of a truly compact pickup truck—judging by all the concepts that Scion trots out at the annual SEMA neon-bedonked explosionfest, it’s definitely an idea that they’re entertaining, maybe taking out to dinner and a movie. It could even be based on the xB. Are sports cars in Scion’s future? We’ll wait and see about the FR-S, but sales of the sporty-type tC coupe aren’t great, either. At the very earliest, Scion’s product planners will start earning their paychecks next year. Maybe they should take a whack at luxury cars, like Acura—we hear that’s what all the aspirational, hip, hat-wearing Gen Y kids are gunning for these days.
Source: Ward’s Auto