LOS ANGELES -- It's two months before the first Scion cars will arrive at dealerships, but Toyota of North Hollywood is ready to go.
As part of a planned showroom redesign, executives at the California dealership decided to include space for Scion. The first of its kind, the Scion showroom opened for business March 21, just waiting for cars to sell.
The connected Toyota and Scion showrooms could not be more different. The Toyota area holds a bullpen of sales cubicles and a giant tropical fish tank and has ancient pop music blaring over the PA system. Every salesman sports a tie.
But walk 30 yards, down two steps and through a short corridor, and it's a different world.
No more Donna Summer. Cool chillout-techno comes in through the speakers. Mounted computer keyboards with 18-inch Dell monitors are connected to T1 Internet lines. The two "consultation" desks are brushed metal. The floor looks like a giant Rubbermaid bathmat.
Aftermarket accessories, rather than fish, are under glass. There's even a dedicated entrance, marked with an outside sign, so Scion customers don't have to walk through the main Toyota store.
Out on the street, the Scion name will be as prominent as the Toyota name on the dealership's sign tower.