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Scion xA

stragerstrager Posts: 308
Check out: http://www.scion.com/drive/drive_xa_photos.html

As expected, this is the same as the Toyota 'ist' sold in Japan, and is to be unveiled today at the LA Motor Show.

I've been waiting for a roomy but compact hatchback from Toyota or Honda, and it looks like the xA fits the bill. I had also liked the Toyota Matrix, until Toyota decided to install busy looking "optional" ground effects on every Matrix XR sold (apparently based on the misguided assumption that all young people want ground effects on their cars to look cool). Looks like Scion will be sold without these options games.

The Scion site is VERY slow to load.
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Comments

  • stragerstrager Posts: 308
    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030102/lath034_1.html

    MSRP is to be "below $16000". After adding an automatic transmission and transportation charges, I'm guessing the no-haggle MSRP will be over $17K. Compare that with the street price (in California) of a Civic LX auto of less than $15K and Scion looks expensive.

    I think Toyota is making a mistake in pricing Scion vehicles that high, considering they are targeted to the entry level buyer. It wouldn't be surprising if many Scion buyers are 'young at heart' Toyota owners, rather than from Gen Y.
  • The prices I believe I read said "well under $16,000" which is a good sign because that is down from $18,000 and hopefully Scion will continually lower that price as launch nears. Honestly though, if they can get it to $14k, the Scion vehicles may not be that bad considering all the standard equipment...that's if you like the styling, interior, and power.
  • Boy, how bad can marketing auto's get? The xA has changed from last year's CCX concept in a lot of ways but one is the most critical: four doors.

    Hello, if you are trying to get a new hip car going, a four door is usually not the way to go,
    especially if you are trying to market to young people. Some points:

    - Mini Cooper, New Beetle, 350Z. All new and all two door. The hatchback part of the market is a mecca for young buyers. Ford's Focus is offered in a three and five door hatch. Which do you think sells in higher numbers to young (16-22 yr old) people? The three door. Same with VW. Heck Honda imports the Civic Si 3-door hatch from Britain to help cash in on the "hot hatch market." Sure, most of the people are not buying the SVT-type versions, but they want the image.

    - The vehicle market for young people who want to take their friends along is already well served by Toyota's own Matrix, Vibe, Protege 5 and Suzuki Aerio SX. Plus, Scion already has the xB. And don't even count all the new "soft-roader" compact SUVs out now. One might counter by saying "look at the PT Cruiser." Well, the xA is not retro and the buyer demographic for the PT is well north of what the Scion brand is targeting.

    The key to launhing a new product is finding a niche. An affordable, entry level, quality three door hatcback, a modern interpretion of the
    retro-Mini Cooper should have been in brought out. Look at all parts of the the buyer demographic. A lot of young people want just two main entry doors and a hatch to load items. At the pivitol moment when a guy or gal is with a group of friends, but is trying to get with that one "special person" of the opposite sex, you don't need that third or fourth person saying "Dude, you got four doors, we can all go"! Mitsubisi even makes fun of that very plight in there Eclipse print ads. Plus, they don't want a vehicle that looks like there Mom or Dad's sedan or SUV.

    - Speaking of parents, a lot of them will be bankrolling these purchases. Many of them don't want four doors either. Why? Trial Lawyers. If Johnny or Jenny's three best friend's are injured (or worse)in accident when J or J were driving, LOOK OUT. Why do you think auto insurance rates for young people are so high. But no insurance will cover a distraught parent with contingency fee lawyer in tow. They are out for everything! Real world concern. Parents think about those things. Scion's marketing types should have too.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    In accordance with our Town Hall Member Agreement, let's stick to discussing vehicles, and avoid making negatives comments about people that like a particular vehicle. Thanks!

    To those concerned: feel free to send me an email if you have any questions/comments.

    Revka/ Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Check out Edmunds' coverage of the 2004 Scion xA from the 2003 LA Auto Show. And let us know what you think.


    image


    Thanks for your comments!


    Revka

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    Anyone has any idea? It was mentioned in the press release.
  • All I've heard is that it will be something similar in style/function of the ccX concept.
  • Toyota better price it at the Focus level, which is slightly less than the Corolla. These cars all have a Echo class engine; a wheel base that is shorter the regular compact cars. Otherwise it will get killed by the Honda Jazz, which will be released at about the same time.


    From the posts I read in VTEC.net, Jazz probably is going price at the Echo/Aerio level, 9.9-12.9K. Now I like XA and XB's character lines alot better the Jazz -- but not 2k better. Hell the Jazz probably has larger space inside too.


    I think people often confuse what is "cool for the kids" with "speed." Let's just say I'm tired of people doing master thesis on what young people want. I doubt the insurance is going be more expensive than Civic or Corolla: they sport the smallest engines they can get away with in N.A. market. And they are 4 dours. Here is a exterior size comparison I made for CTR, Element, ist, bbx and Jazz. Can you tell I'm in the demographic? :)

    image

  • Not "speed" but "fun". With the exception of the Civic Si, your montage shows all four doors (the element having two "demi" doors). The secret to successful product launch is finding a "niche" and exploiting it. How about Mazda's Miata for an example. A modern interpretation of the classic British small roadster. Going strong since '89. There are only so many buyers four door compacts. As for insurance, it is based on a number of risk factors and now even credit ratings. But the possibility of financial ruin goes up with the number of passengers involved in an accident, it's a fact of life in our litigous society. As for the Jazz, it has had some sucess in the UK, but is not doing so well here in mainland Europe. I think the Jazz will do best with cash strapped young families in the States, not young "hipsters." Scion should try and take a page from Europe and try to emulate the Polo, A3, Corsa, and Fiesta. They are small 3-door cars with lot's of different appearance packages to make them stand out. These are the cars I see young people driving, and not just due to petrol prices, but because they are fun to drive, allow you to take stuff with you, but still don't look like Uncle Otto's Benz.
  • jvkalrajvkalra Posts: 98
    I think what Toyota needs is a *CHEAP* high volume car with distinctive styling to appeal to the young.

    Several years ago, I remember that the Corolla hatchback (fastback as it was called) along with the Celica hatchback were two of the more popular cars in California among new college grads. Then Toyota started raising prices rapidly and the younger buyers went over to Honda.

    Whether it is a 2 or 4 door hatch is not as important as the price. Toyota's priority always seems to be high profits, and the target market for the particular car is irrelevant to them. They have shown this with the RAV4 and the Matrix, pricing them very high and loading them up with "options" to the point that mostly buyers over 45 seem to have the $ to buy them.

    Scion is a mistake in the sense that the customer is going to ultimately pay for the separate dealer showrooms, no-haggle prices, and the rumored huge marketing expenses. I'm betting that many Scion customers will be Toyota owners 50+ who are looking for a small car, especially if a reasonably equipped Scion xA is going to sell for around $16K. I would price the Scion xA at least $1000 lower than the actual selling price of a basic Civic.
  • Jazz was the best selling car in Japan last year, it doesn't need to apologize to nobody. (Has Honda ever had a successful model in mainland Europe, at all?)

    I don't see the difference between Polo, Fiesta and these Toyota cars. They may be taller, but to me they are in the same class. It's VW's fault that they are no bringing the Polo and the Lupo here. Also tall cars always look better with four doors. Why do you want two door if the four door model is better looking? We are not talking about the 5th gen, 6th gen Civic, or a 3 series convertible here.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    always seems too absolute.

    For example: the Echo. I prefer the Yaris/Vitz styling better (it's a hatchback with barely any rear overhang, with the same doors and rear quarter windows as the Echo 2-door)
  • The Jazz doesn't need to say it is sorry, it will sell well...to young families who want room, low price and Honda quality. As for a succesful Honda over here, how about their three-door HR-V quasi- ute. A very unconservative vehicle available with VTEC power. I have seen quite a few.

    jvkalra is onto something. It's the product. Get a "fun" customizable vehicle, market it smartly, not overboard (like on every crappy MTV reality show)and price it right. You know, the Yaris and the two door Rav-4, mildly restyled,hmm...
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    too bad the 2-door RAV4 didn't sell well over here
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    It all depends on how much it costs and what I get for that price. If its 14K, I might buy one. Once over $15.5K, I'll go check out an Accord DX/LX or an Element. Although the Accord isn't a youth vehicle targeted towards Gen Y, it still sells pretty well. I've seen many college kids with Accords.
  • My first car was a 1975 2-door Buick Skylark (re-badged Nova)with a Buick 350 (back when each division made their own engines). 4bbl Rochester Q-jet Carb and the first year for cat convertors.
    165 net hp. Thought it would be a first in a long line of V-8s I would own, increasing in HP as I went along. Of course, it's the only V-8 I have ever owned. Funny how things work out.

    Anybody hear any firm prices on the XA?
  • how well does iST sell in Japan?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Edmunds.com now has information on the 2004 Scion xA in their Future Vehicles section. Check it out, and let us know what you think!

    image

    Look at more pictures here. Thanks for your comments. ;-)

    Revka
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • I think Scion and the new Hondas are a total disaster. The styling inside and out isn't sporty in my opinion, it's just plain stupid. These kind of cars could be knocked off the road by a minivan. I don't know where they got the idea that metallic plastic and blue colored seats are "cool".
  • 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 Autonews.com: "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
    PIC:
    http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/index.asp?id=10178
  • 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.
    J.

    '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.

    Photo http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_047679

    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).
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