The rollout of Scion's first two production models, the xA and xB, began this week at 383 dealers in 23 states in the Gulf States, Southeast and East Coast of the United States. Scion has been on sale in California since June 9, 2003. The new car marque from Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., was created to meet the demands of an emerging culture of new car buyers known as Gen Y.
"We've gained an incredible amount of experience in the eight months between the California launch and now," said Jim Farley, vice president of Scion. "Listening to our target buyers and our dealers in California has helped us fine-tune sales processes, accessories, training and marketing for this second phase in our launch strategy."
Scion is now on sale in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
"Scion's target buyer is information rich, time poor and highly technology savvy," continued Farley. "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."
Simplicity is important to Scion's target buyers, and the extensive standard specifications list was derived with this key objective in mind. Both the xA and xB are mono-spec vehicles. Customers make only a few key choices when purchasing their vehicle: model, transmission, color and accessories.
Both the muscular five-door xA and the sharp-edged 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 exceptional fuel economy with EPA estimates of 32 mpg 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 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway when equipped with the five-speed manual transmission.
The xA and xB are offered at an attractive price position with standard equipment that includes:
Six-speaker premium Pioneer AM/FM/CD sound system that is satellite ready and MP3 compatible,
Power windows with one-touch driver's side auto down,
Power door-locks and outside mirrors,
A choice of three wheel cover designs
Standard safety equipment for both vehicles includes anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), 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 (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC) and Brake Assist (BA) as standard equipment, while xA offers both side- and side-curtain airbags as the only factory option.
In addition to the host of standard equipment, consumers can choose from a wide array of approximately 40 custom accessories. 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. Scion accessories are covered under the standard Scion limited warranty of three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
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, performance clutch, strut tie bar and sport exhaust. For xB, TRD also offers a quick shift kit.
The xB Release Series 1.0 is the first limited edition for Scion and will offer unique appearance and performance enhancements.
All xB Release Series 1.0 vehicles will have a new, vibrant orange body color, Hot Lava, and a color-keyed rear spoiler. A matching orange powder-coated strut tie-bar brace will enhance handling performance on the xB, while a billet grille completes the xB Release Series' tuner look.
Interior enhancements are designed to match the exclusive Hot Lava body paint. The xB will be illuminated with orange under-dash, under-seat and cupholder lighting and be further distinguished with subtle, black seat fabric with orange highlights. This unique, limited edition xB will also come standard with a Pioneer AM/FM/six-disc CD changer audio system. Finally, a small numbered plaque will be applied to the interior of each Release Series car.
Approximately 2,100 units of the xB Release Series 1.0 will be available. Scion dealerships in California, the Gulf States, Southeast and East Coast will offer the xB Release Series 1.0 beginning in March.
Toyota Division dealers have either installed the Scion showroom within their current dealership, 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.
The Scion "Pure Price" solution is another way Scion will meet the buyers' desire for consistency and transparency. It means that the dealership's advertised price equals the actual transaction price. This principle should apply to accessories, finance and insurance.
This "pure price" philosophy, the unique products and the new dealership experience are all supported by base MSRPs of $12,480 for xA and $13,680 for xB. The xA and xB, equipped with automatic transmissions, are $13,280 and $14,480, respectively. Also included in the MSRP are three complimentary oil changes. The xB Release Series 1.0 model will be $980 over the MSRP of the base xB.
In June, Scion will simultaneously complete the national rollout and launch its third vehicle. Like the xA and the xB, the Scion tC sports coupe will be offered in mono-spec trim with standard features that include a panorama glass moonroof, air conditioning, cruise control, a high-output Pioneer sound system, power windows, door locks and mirrors, and a driver's side knee airbag.
Power will be delivered through an all-aluminum 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) that will produce 160 horsepower. The engine will be mated with a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. For added performance, a dealer-installed supercharger package developed by Toyota Racing Development will be offered later in the year. The turn-key performance option with an output of approximately 200 horsepower can be purchased with the vehicle, or added later. The tC will go on sale in June for less than $20,000.
"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."