DETROIT – Despite three years of lackluster sales, Toyota's Scion youth brand is not in danger of being shut down, Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda said.
“There is no concern, no danger for Scion in the future,” Toyoda said in a roundtable interview with journalists at the auto show.
(Please insert graf of sales for past three years, and peak year)
Scion's U.S. sales dropped 21 percent last year to 45,678 units. Scion sold 130,181 cars in the U.S. market in 2007, and a record 173,024 units in 2006.
Because Scion's target demographic is younger than 30 years old, the brand has suffered greatly from the recession and the inability of young – many unemployed – buyers to get a car loan.
Toyoda said Scion's position within the Toyota family is important as the developer of fun-to-drive vehicles that feature “exhilaration and excitement.”
“I am one of the test-drivers within Toyota,” he said. “I have a preoccupation with vehicles that have great emotional excitement, and Scion can bring that sort of excitement to the fore.”