Text and Photography by Bryce Womeldurf
This morning, we’re waking to the news that Toyota has rung the Scion brand’s death knell, as Toyota is reporting in a press release. But don’t be too worried about seeing the few interesting models, such as the FR-S, die on the vine just yet though. They are also reporting that existing Scion models will be phased into the Toyota lineup. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America and founding vice president of Scion, put a positive spin on the news when he was quoted as saying “This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota. Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network.”
According to the release, the rebadging of the model year 2017 Scions will begin in August of this year. FR-S, iA sedan, and iM hatch will live on as Toyotas while the tC will just get a final release series and be phased out. Will it see another generation as a Toyota in the future? No one is saying right now, but the FR-S is at least living on for now, so that is something to be grateful for. Their new C-HR, which had only recently been unveiled as a Scion will instead become a Toyota.
Scion was originally brought to market as a youth brand but they have not been heavy sellers, so this news is not coming as much of a surprise. One wonders what the new names of these models will become, whether they will continue in their current simple letter-combination names or whether we’ll see them badged as Toyota 86 or GT86, as the FR-S is sold in other markets. Or will we see the FR-S as a return of the Celica name? Only time will tell.
Photo Copyright 2016 HOONART/Bryce Womeldurf