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Scion moves to expand its lineup

Automotive News reports on Scion's model expansion plans.

SAN DIEGO--Toyota conceived its Scion youth brand as a three-product lineup, but the company will stretch to include four vehicles early next year and could add other products as well.

The lineup will be "a mix of evolution and revolution" in the future, said Jack Hollis, vice president of the struggling brand. The Scion tC redesign arrives in October, and the all-new iQ minicar will arrive in early 2011.

But it may not end there.

Last year Toyota announced it would not build the small, A-BAT pickup concept that had been a head-turner at the 2008 Detroit auto show. But Hollis said the A-BAT is not dead after all. The idea of a parcel carrier not meant for heavy hauling is attractive to Gen Y buyers, he said.

Also, the boxy Hako coupe concept, with its 94.5-inch wheelbase, is under study as a "creative-utility" vehicle. The Hako appeared at the 2009 New York show.

A rear-wheel-drive compact performance vehicle also is being studied.

"I don't think Scion needs to be reinvented, but we need to find the next dimension," Hollis said.

Scion sales fell 22 percent through July of this year--after a 49 percent plunge in 2009. Young buyers, who have been hit particularly hard by the recession, have had a difficult time getting new-car loans.

Hollis declined to say whether the vehicles would be additions to the lineup or replace existing vehicles. But in the past, Hollis said that if the Hako were built it would be an addition.

The Scion xB and xD hatchbacks were redesigned in the summer of 2007, meaning their next redesigns--or replacements--should come two years from now.

(Source: Automotive News)