Scion's first two production models, xA and xB, go on sale June 9 in California at 105 dealerships. Scion, the new car marque from Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., was created to suit the demands of an emerging culture of new car buyers known as Gen Y, according to the company.
"Scion's target buyer is information rich, time poor and highly technology savvy," said Jim Farley, vice president of Scion. "Scion caters to this influential generation with unique products, a distinctive dealership environment and a revolutionized sales process, all complemented by an astonishing sticker price."
Both the xA and xB are mono-spec vehicles and a customer must only make a few key choices when purchasing a Scion: model, transmission, color and accessories.
Both the five-door xA and the xB are powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing with intelligence, or VVT-i, that produces 108 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 105 lb-ft. of torque at 4,200 RPM. The xA offers fuel economy with EPA estimates of 32 miles-per-gallon in the city and 38 on the highway for both manual and automatic transmissions. The xB is just as fuel conservative with EPA mileage estimates of 31 miles-per-gallon in the city and 35 on the highway when equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, according to the company.
Standard safety equipment for both vehicles includes Anti-lock Brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, driver and front passenger airbags, head restraints, a first-aid kit and three-point seatbelts in all five seating positions. xB also features Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control and Brake Assist as standard equipment, while xA offers side and side curtain airbags as an option.
In addition to the host of standard equipment, Toyota says consumers can choose from a wide array of approximately 40 accessories with which to customize their vehicle. These range from appearance enhancements, such as alloy wheels, carbon fiber appliqués, sport pedals, shift knobs and interior lighting kits to underhood items, such as cold air intake or a strut tower brace. These Scion accessories are covered under the standard Scion limited warranty of three years or 36,000 miles, whichever
Also, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) has created a line-up of Scion performance parts that includes 18- or 19-inch wheels and tires, a lowering kit and sport exhaust. For xB, TRD also offers a performance clutch and quick shift kit.
Consumers can visit the vehicle configuration section of the scion.com Web site to build and accessorize their Scion. This information can then be saved, printed out or emailed to a Scion dealer of their choice.
In California, about 65 percent of Toyota Division dealers have installed the Scion showroom within their current dealership. The rest either expanded their showroom or built a separate facility. The Scion dealership environment caters to buyers who want resources to answer their questions with freedom to explore at their own pace.
"Scion is more than just product," continued Farley. "We believe that by reflecting the buyers' expectations for consistency between scion.com and the dealership, and ensuring transparency and time efficiency, we will make an emotional connection at the dealership. This connection translates into a lifetime advocacy for our retailers and for us as a manufacturer."
Toyota Financial Services says it offers a finance program called Scion Solutions, specifically for Scion target customers. Many finance programs within Scion Solutions provide special rates and terms on retail purchases and leases including a college graduate retail and lease program, an iFinance program that caters to customers with limited credit who do not have co-signers and a Gen-One program for customers with no established credit and who do not have co-signers.
"Scion is not Toyota's sole youth strategy. However, it is a vital and important part of it," said Farley. "Scion is a laboratory for change and innovation that will continue to explore new ways to stay relevant and spark the interest of this new generation for many years to come. And finally, Scion will be imitated. Our competitors will quickly realize that the real risk is to do nothing."