Fourteen years ago, Toyota launched its new Scion brand at the New York Auto Show. The new line of cars was targeted at younger, hipper drivers and in the beginning, it was a success. But sales have dropped in half from the high-water point of 173,034 units in 2006. Toyota is now shutting down the division and absorbing the models into its main line at the end of 2016.
But despite the shutdown, Toyota executives say the Scion experiment was a success. They claim the average age of their buyers has dropped significantly and more than 70% of their most recent buyers are new to the Toyota brand. And while the separate Scion line is shutting down, Toyota says it will take over the warranty and maintenance for the vehicles. The future is less certain for the soon-to-be-former employees of Scion, who have been told that they will have to apply for a new job with parent company Toyota.