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Toyota Up's The Market With Scion/lexus


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Some of our conversations here have mentioned the move by Lexus to stop production of any car under $30,000.

Toyota says they may move the Scion line into a premium brand taking care of that under $30,000 customer.

http://lexusenthusiast.com/2014/12/16/toyota-transform-scion-small-premium-brand/

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Interesting, IMHO not a great idea. I'm also wondering about this guy and hope he keeps his hands off of Lexus.

This talk about the magic $30K price point is hollow.

Example: He is wasting energy putting down Mercedes (US) for going below that artificial price point with CLA, instead of focusing on products.

Mercedes has quietly upped the entry price to above $30K, mission accomplished after generating more demand than they can handle with both a desirable product and attractive price.

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scion seems to be a niche market selling small, sporty cars or boxy looking things. Probably a good idea to compete in this market that was as opposed to dropping Lexus to a lower level luxury market. When a top Avalon lists for $15 thousand more than a base Lexus, it gives you an indication that something is wrong.

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Scion is a one hit wonder (Xb 1st gen, followed by less successful Xb 2nd gen). I'm familiar with it, having purchased an Xb for a famility member. Scion has lacked new/competitive products in recent years.

Here's the November 2014 sales stats in US, not impressive, but at least the Xb stays at top of chart (FR-S is cool, more of niche product in a low volume kind of market):

FR-S 935

IQ 82

XD 352

XB 1414

TC 1124

I'd like to hear more about how they plan to move "Scion to a small premium brand", because if it isn't done right they could end up like Lincoln.

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I guess everybody expects luxury now. Most moderate rental units come pretty loaded now. Never knew scion sales numbers before. Yeah, they should give it a go. Seems Toyota has a pretty good habit of doing this right so why not?

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Yes, everybody wants to be in premium car business, and wants that ability to charge accordingly. Not all will make the cut just by producing luxurious vehicles (Acura, Buick, Volvo, Lincoln, are examples of those still trying), it takes a big investment including serious hardware and amentities including separate highend showrooms and service centers, to name a few.

Despite proven Toyota's success with mainstream products and Lexus lux products, Scion has languished for years and in recent years is a downer by industry standards. They need to show us product that will propel Scion out of the consistent no growth/downward path.

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I haven't paid much attention to Scion. Always sort of regarded the line as aimed at boy-racer wanna-be's or the fanatically practical folks who like the idea of driving a car that looks like a breadbox (that's the "b" stands for, yes?). In any case, I see a number of them around our area in service as taxicabs.

In the absence of a London cab equivalent in the States, the Xb seems to be a good choice: low-cost operation, good passenger and luggage space, and reliability. Maybe a way to re-route flagging sales; plenty of opportunity in Chicago, NYC, and Boston -- not to mention DC.

Take it into the premium car realm? So who's gonna pay premium car bucks for an econo-box or a "sports car" that is well short of a Miata for more money? Aston-Martin has a mini luxo-coupe called the Cygnet, made out of a Yaris, I think.

And the $30K threshold? That's hardly the luxury car breakpoint when nearly every well-equipped mid-range sedan you can think of approaches that figure. A nicely equipped Buick Regal goes easily into the $30s. St. called it right.

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Btw - First gen Scion Xb is nearly a cult car in US (and in Japan, branded as Toyota). When it first came out I was probably the only person over 40 that liked it. Even many Toyota salespeople didnt have a clue about its appeal. It certainly wasn't trying to be a premium car as it sold well in the first years.

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Seems to me that selling a "luxury" car for under thirty grand is almost an oxymoron. Considering all the S550's and such seen all over the place that luxury, has moved up and price. A new LS460L had a $88K sticker stuck on the tinted window. Now you are up into the true luxury range.

Not saying that there isn't a good $25 - $35 customer base because there are plenty of people in that range. I rode in one of the FR-S cars and they are small. Actually liked my Miata much better. Hate to say this but the Miata really is the best sports car deal out there. Of course I am now about done with convertibles so I much enjoy the comfort of my IS.

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Scion was initially an experiment by Toyota, a division within a division, but now that's just some ancient history.

Scion today is lagging mainly due to weak product offerings. Pretending to be premium will not get the results that better product offerings will. Mercedes/BMWAudi (main competition for Lexus) will continue to offer new products (mostly if not all lower cost fwd platforms) in the US at lower prices. Lexus was a pioneer in business with highly successful Camry-derived fwd ES, and late in the game with compact SUV NX, so they have capability to compete at affordable end of premium car business.

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