Toyota Tells Dealers They Can Ditch Scion, Then Shows New Concepts
Toyota executives must have been humming Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” as they walked into this year’s national dealer meeting. The Japanese automaker met with American Toyota dealers and informed them that if they desired, they could jettison the Scion brand from their showroom. And then they showed the same dealers a pair of reasons to stick around. Held earlier this month in Atlanta, the dealers were told that they could ditch the more niche and youth oriented Scion brand, without penalty. There are currently about 1,000 Scion dealers throughout the country, and it has been suggested that a more viable number would be less than half that.
But before Toyota dealers left the conference they were treated to a pair of interesting concepts that may entice more than a few dealers to keep Scion. First, the FT 86 Open Concept was driven onto the stage (to the tones of Aerosmith, according to the Automotive News report). This convertible version of the Scion FR-S was first shown in the spring at the Geneva Motor Show, and although no official word has been made on production, it would make a fetching follow-up to the popular rear-drive sportscar.
The second vehicle was a compact crossover utility vehicle, with a “racy silhouette.” The vehicle was smaller than a RAV4, and although it has (also) not been confirmed for production, it would be a compelling vehicle to compete with the Nissan Juke and Honda’s upcoming CUV, based on the Honda Fit.
PHOTOS: See more of the 2013 Toyota FT 86 Open Concept