What Toyota’s slaying of Scion means to you – USA TODAY
With Toyota’s unexpected announcement this week that it is going to pull the plug on Scion, owners and shoppers will have many questions. We’ll try and answer a few.
Will Toyota discontinue Scion’s cars?
The tC coupe will be discontinued, but Scion spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell told us Toyota will rebadge three other Scions — the FR-S coupe, iA sedan and iM hatchback — as Toyota models. (The xB hatchback and iQ microcar were already discontinued after 2015.)
What will Toyota name the Scions? Will the iM become the Matrix?
Sorry. The Scion iM will become (wait for it) the Toyota iM, and so on for the others. Hubbell said the automaker plans to keep the names to preserve brand equity.
I own a Scion. Will this lower my resale value?
If it does, it’s probably not enough to keep you up at night. Our analysis last year of canceled cars suggests that discontinuation generally signals faster depreciation, especially if a brand, not just a car, bites the dust. But it’s rare that parent brands take on the refugees as new models. Typically, if a discontinued car lives on by another name, it was there to begin with (e.g., the Mercury Milan and the Ford Fusion).
The closest example in recent history is the Saturn Vue SUV, which GM discontinued along with the whole brand in late 2009. After a one-year hiatus, the Vue came back as the fleet-only Chevrolet Captiva Sport. (Chevrolet is a GM brand, as was Saturn.)
We analyzed the average used listing prices for 3-year-old Vue and Captiva Sport SUVs. We looked at 2010 Vue listings in mid-2013, then at 2012 Captiva Sport listings in mid-2015. The Vue listings averaged $16,523, while the Captiva Sport listings averaged $16,057. There are some caveats: The Captiva Sport’s fleet-only status no doubt affected its resale value, and the Vue listings had a small sample size. But, at minimum, the findings suggest that resale value may not suffer too much, if at all, between a Scion model and its rebadged Toyota version.
Where can I service my Scion?
Toyota says Scion owners can continue to service their cars at Toyota dealerships.
What about my two years of free maintenance?
The program continues, though under a different name. Scion’s complimentary Scion Service Boost program included normal factory maintenance for the first two years or 25,000 miles (whichever comes first), plus 24-hour roadside assistance for two years regardless of mileage. Toyota’s complimentary ToyotaCare program matches those terms. Scion owners will receive the remainder of their Scion Service Boost program under ToyotaCare, Hubbell told us.
Will the features and options change on the FR-S, iA and iM?
At some point, maybe. Hubbell said Toyota plans to retain all three cars’ mono-spec trim levels and minimal options packages for 2017, but the automaker will “evaluate what to do” for 2018 and beyond. So if you really wanted an iM with leather seats or a sunroof — two features not currently offered — sit tight. It just might happen.
Does this mean I can finally negotiate on pricing for those cars?
Yes. Hubbell confirmed that Scion’s no-haggle pricing strategy, dubbed Pure Price, will not carry over to the three models after they transition to Toyota. Of course, the specifics on any negotiations depend on your local dealer.
What about Scion’s C-HR Concept? I heard that was going to be built.
You heard correctly. A production version of the C-HR, likely a subcompact SUV, is still on the way. It will be a Toyota, however.