Millennials’ buying habits are different from Gen X.
Toyota has officially announced that it will discontinue the Scion brand, and that the 2016 model year will be the final year for the 13-year-old marque. Between the four models that were in the Scion lineup, three will migrate to the Toyota lineup, the iA, iM, and FR-S. The tC, on the other hand, will be discontinued. In a phone conference, a Toyota executive told us that none of the models will be renamed when they cross over to the Toyota brand.
While none of the three models moving over to Toyota will get a name change in the near term, the GT86 name is being evaluated over the next six to eight months. Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota, said the FR-S name is being kept for now because there is a lot of equity associated with it. However, it may be possible that the FR-S will get a name change to GT86 for its mid-cycle refresh or next generation.
Carter also elaborated on the reasons for killing Scion. One of the main reasons for discontinuing the brand and integrating it into Toyota was because Millennials’ buying habits are different from Gen X buyers. They believe in brands and they are more closely aligned to baby boomers when it comes to their buying habits. Additionally, Millennials are not as adverse to advertising and marketing as Gen X. In 2015, Millennials made up 27 percent of Toyota’s sales volume and the majority of their purchases were “light trucks” (read: crossovers). Scion also lacked the aspirational image that Toyota had, making them more unknown to millennial buyers.