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Scion xA



  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    When older people try to play to younger audiences, they invariably miss when they try to be cool.

    Besides, most younger people want what most older people want: reliabile, fun, safe, economical vehicles.

    Scion, I bet, ends up being a big money hole for Toyota dealers, who must invest in separate showrooms, etc.

    And I bet right now the average buyer will be over 40. This seems to echo something or other in the past, which was going to be Toyota's youth market car. I know old ladies in their 80's who think that car is dowdy! :)
  • I don't think Scions are inherently bad cars. The difference between failure and success hinges on the following three points: pricing, pricing, and pricing!

    If these things end up stickering at $17-18K, they will fail. One of the main problems that seems to occur when companies introduce "youth utility" vehicles is that they price them way too high. When the Aztek came out for '01, it based above $20K. If they had sold that car starting at $17K (even if they had to decontent it a bit), they would have sold every one they could make. Likewise, if Scion can base these cars at $14K (remember they are well equipped, with A/C and power features standard), they should do fine. Young people want a cool, useful car, but they also want value for the money. They are not going to pay $18K for a small car with a small engine when they could get a bigger car with a bigger engine for the same price.

    -Andrew L
  • By the way, I just read a book called "Disaster in Dearborn: The Story of the Edsel", which details the sorts of problems that can arise when a car company launches a new division. It's interesting how an assortment of unpredictable factors can come together to sink a new brand. I hope Toyota had all their people read this book before jumping into the Scion project :-)

    -Andrew L
  • civicwcivicw Posts: 135
    I agree 100% with a_l_hubcaps. It's the PRICE that is key to making Scion successful.

    Here's something I read in "Scion is focusing on music and style in an attempt to reach the trendsetters in this group, Farley said. Scion is going after the urban buyer who is college educated with an above average income, Farley said, in hopes of moving Scion owners into Toyota and Lexus vehicles". (Jim Farley is Scion VP)

    Wasn't this the same target buyer for the Toyota Matrix? A reasonably equipped Matrix with standard power equipment and including some unnecessary Toyota imposed "options" (busy looking ground effects and other stuff) stickers at $19K+. As it turns out the average age of the Matrix buyer is about 55! I'm sure price is a major factor behind these demographics.

    If Scion is going to have any chance of hitting its demographic target, I think the no-haggle price for an auto XA can't exceed $15K, including transportation. Otherwise the uniqueness of the XA will not be attractive enough to overcome the downside of its small size.

    Incidentally, I checked out the Scion website. Not only is is it very slow, but for Toyota to assume that the target audience (college educated young people with an above average income) will go to the Scion site to listen to or download music is silly, IMO. They should just stick to cars.
  • I think Toyota wants too much for their cars. I wish Scion's come with a bunch of standard equipment like Honda. A load RAV4 is just aweful lot of dough for that little metal. I hope some Scion execs are reading this forum.
  • 2004 Scion xB
    Toyota launched its youth-oriented Scion brand with two concept vehicles last year. A production version, based on the bbX concept, called the xB will be sold exclusively in California this summer, and nationwide by June 2004. Scion calls the xB an “urban conveyance” instad of a van, wagon or sport utility vehicle. Starting at about $18,000, the xB will stress personal customization by allowing buyers to choose from a variety of standard features
  • Hyundai's Lavita, a huge seller in Europe,is under consideration to be brought to the U.S. Similar in size-4 dr.--1.8 ltr. I agree with Civicw and "hubcaps" that pricing will be key to sales success of the Scion. If Hyundai brings the Lavita to the U.S., they'll eat Toyota's lunch on price and warranty (10yrs.100,000 miles). Hyundai's quality, fit and finish has much improved recently and would be a serious competitor.
  • caneaucaneau Posts: 14
    Not to sound egotistical, but Toyota designed a car to appeal to me and my generation. I was born in 1985 which places me in the dead center of Generation-Y. This car is supposed to appeal to me and quite simply, it doesn't. Do I mind boxy cars? Not at all, I drive a Jeep Cherokee and I love the car. I think the only boxier production car today is an H1 and it too looks good. So what's wrong with cars such as the xB Scion or the Honda Element?
    For starters, they're UGLY! I can't explain why they are ugly, but why is Carmen Electra better looking than Rosie? The Scion is the more hideous of the two in my opinion. The Element at least sort of looks like an SUV but the xB, well just look at it, need I say more?
    Second, power anyone? 105 horses? 1.5 liters? I don't care if I can break windows with the 1,300 watts of audio power if I can't run away for the cops who want to arrest me for violating a noise ordnance (just kidding, my Jeep has a 2 speaker audio system that starts to crackle and smoke if turned up anywhere close to loud, but I purchase cars for different reasons than the AV systems). Honestly though, having what I think must be the least powerful car available in the US is downright dangerous. Why? Try merging from an off ramp in front of a semi traveling at 80 miles per hour with a Scion. I speak in the second person tense because I don't want to be anywhere nearby when someone attempts this. I have better things to do than spend an afternoon testifying in court after the car is flattened. 105 hp - there are 600cc motorcycles that have more power than that.
    Finally, if anyone has read my posts, I almost always ask or imply why someone should buy this car? Why should a 17 year old want an under powered, ugly car made by the same company that makes the oh so exciting Avalon and Camry? About the only reason I could find was to stand in one place and blast the stereo. I don't think the engine could handle driving and having the stereo turned on. I cannot speak for every 16 or 17 year old out there, but from my experience, $17,000 of metal and rubber that sits in one place is useless.
    All things considered, I'd rather buy a used Mustang GT with a Mach 460 sound system. In day to day usage, it sounds just as good, and what do you know, it has nearly three times the power.
    If I am right, and I probably am judging from my experience with cars and being a teenager myself, who is going to buy this car? First, parents who want to seem "hip" to their kids. The parents and kids have to both be completely oblivious to anything automotive and buy into the greasy Toyota dealer saying, "Oh, this car is the latest 'rage', everybody in California is driving one..." The other demographic that possibly could buy this car are people who want to be, for reason or another, "with the times". This could be an older person who wants to revitalize their youth (think same demographic who were on the waiting list for VW Beetles) or teenagers who are outcasts and want to improve their status in the high school hierarchy.
    Are these two groups enough to keep Scion going? Maybe, but I think they will eventually realize how awful this car is and the resale value will tumble after the first year. Toyota will have to be forced to improve the engine (much like Chrysler is doing with the PT) or lower the MSRP.
    In either case, I'm not trading in my Jeep anytime soon, even if I do have to listen to my crackling speakers.

    '97 Jeep XJ 4.0L
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    ...echoes of the past...

    ....come back to haunt Toy....

    But remember, the first large Toyota pick-up was a darn near complete joke, and so were Toyopets (the first car that Toyota imported into the US). Now the Tundra is a competitor and the Corolla is, I believe, now the longest running, biggest selling car line ever produced, and known for its reliability, if not style.

    If Toyota ever does get this right, the Hyundais and the General Motors of the world will each have one more thing to worry about.

    The great used car vs. a very slow, uncool new car argument is a very good one.

    And Caneau, you will do well at whatever you decide to do with yourself in life. You write very well indeed! Your logic is sound. But, as someone other than Faith Popcorn said, predicting the future is very hard work. And sometimes teens, in particular, are very hard to predict. That all being said, I agree with you, I don't see any way that the Scion, at least the original models, will be successful.

    Add to all of what you say Toyota's requirement that dealers invest in separate sales buildings, staffs, etc., and I see big problems ahead for this line.

    Major efforts by oldsters to traffic in what is cool and trendy with teens almost always fail.

    Time will tell, but I stick with: Echoes of the past, come back to haunt Toy!
  • stragerstrager Posts: 308
    Sounds like Toyota is concerned about the Chevy Aveo, similar in size and styling to the Scion xA, but to be sold in the price range of $10-15K.


    Jim Press, a Toyota VP said yesterday: "In this kind of environment, when anxiety exists, what you find is customers want longevity, reliability and dependability -- true value. It's not just about buying the cheapest car."

    I think Toyota better think twice about trying to sell Scions for no-haggle prices around $17K (inluding transportation).
  • I think that the xA looks much more sporty than the Aveo. As a sedan, the Aveo is hideous.

    Let's not forget that the Aveo is a Daewoo product.
  • civicwcivicw Posts: 135
    vehicles? Then all the affluent folks could buy a baby Lexus for their "trendsetter" kids. With the relatively high prices that Toyota wants to charge for these sub-compact cars, Lexus might be the way to go. That would also avoid the huge overheads of setting up Scion sub-dealerships.

    I think there is a very basic obstacle to Scion becoming successful: Toyota's corporate strategy of setting high prices/profits for their "youth" models like the Matrix and xA is in direct conflict with it's goal of getting younger customers.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    The Aveo sedan doesn't look bad at all judging by the available pictures.
    "The South Korean-built car was penned by Italdesign, and it will be offered in four-door and five-door configurations."
    BTW, as the most posters agreed, PRICE is the most important factor in this sector.
    The xA and xB have too much technology (design/build complexity) in these entry level cars to be competitively priced to the Daewoo design. And as far as being a Daewoo design...
    Just look at the Huinday Elantra that is rapidly changing the perception of being cheaply build and unreliable.
  • odmanodman Posts: 309
    In Canada, we are not going to be getting Scions. Instead, Toyota will be importing the Yaris 3-door/5-door and calling it the ECHO hatchback.

    I'm not sure what an Xa offers over an ECHO hatch apart from sheetmetal that is a bit more aggressive. Seems like a lot of risk/effort on Toytota's part.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Geez. An underpowered, 105 HP 1.5 liter engine. Wonder if anyone will order one with the automatic transmission. To turn a Scion into a Lexus, you first need a few L badges. Then, you need a tan interior with warm colors. Then, a Mark Levinson stereo is on order. Don't forget wood trim, a 5 speed automatic with tiptronic, an excellent warranty, and a price tag around $25K. Sounds like the BMW 3-Series Hatchback a few years back. Not too sucessful. I think that the Scion probably will flunk. Who'd buy a $17K underpowered compact car when an Accord LX stickers for about the same? With $17K, I'd rather buy the Accord, wouldn't you? The Accord has a much stronger 2.4L 160HP 4 cylinder, more room, and a better resale value. Only thing the Scion has that the Accord does not is that Mark Levinson, (oops, a Pioneer) stereo system. You could almost buy a Dodge Caravan with the 17K! The xB doesn't sound good either. The xB needs that tan interior, the Mark Levinson stereo, well, you get the picture.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...with automatic, less than $13.3k. I'm not the marketing target [only about 40 years too old], but would love to have one of these in our garage as our every-day runaround car so that the Mercedes gets used only on long trips. Not the market that Toyota had in mind, but all automotive marketing is voodoo anyway.

    As for the general idea of Scion, I do agree that this is a big waste of money and is likely to be seen as a huge flop. But the xA [nee IST] is a neat car and deserves to succeed independently of what badge it wears. It certainly seems like a practical alternative to anyone who values good fuel consumption, practicality, and reliability...but this whole business of trying to find new customers for Toyota via this medium seems to be doomed to failure. Only the "Marketeers" believe in this business of targeting cars specifically to a given demographic - somehow, the real-world market never quite behaves the way they expect it to...
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Edmunds gives the two Scion vehicles, the xA and xB, very favorable reviews. It also gives the whole Scion concept a thumbs up!

    "One thing is certain, Scion is the real deal and, based on product alone, it should be a runaway success. Scion cars will go on sale June of 2003."

    Read it here: .html?*
  • DOes anyone know if these vehicles will be availabe in the Canadian Market?
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518

    I don't think they will, at least not initially, but Canada will be getting the 2004 Toyota Echo Hatchback, which is similar to the Scion xA.

    -Andrew L
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    > In Canada, we are not going to be getting
    > Scions. Instead, Toyota will be importing the
    > Yaris 3-door/5-door and calling it the
    > ECHO hatchback

    Lucky you :) They should bring Yaris here at the first place. Instead, they made this ugly, disproportioned Echo. Umph!
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