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Scion iQ (2011) revealed

Fri, 02 Apr 2010

The 2011 Scion iQ - a Toyota iQ in any other place - will hit the US market

The Scion name is one of those car ‘Makes’ that is well known over there but unheard of over here. So although the headline will mean something to our Colonial Cousins, most in Blighty won’t have a clue. So before we cover the Scion iQ, perhaps we ought to cover Scion in general.

Scion is Toyota’s badge for cars aimed at Generation Y. We did a story on the Generation Y car buyer last year, but basically ‘Gen Y’ is people born after the mid-70s who look for cars that suit their general needs, not a car to pose in or play traffic light Grand Prix with (as with all research like this there are huge generalisations. But it is a trend).

Toyota decided at the start of the last decade that the best way to market to Gen Y customers was with a bespoke make – Scion. Just as they had with the wealthier buyer with Lexus. So in 2002 they started to introduce a range of cars in to the US that were a bit quirky; a bit youth oriented; a bit ‘Not American’.

And that brings us back to the headline – the Scion iQ has been revealed at the New York Motor Show and will launch in the US sometime soon. And yes, you’ve guessed right. This is a Scion-badged version of the Toyota iQ, the smallest production four-seater in the world. And it’s going to be sold in the US. Times really have changed.

So why would we write about the Scion iQ, a re-badged, US-only Toyota? Well, apart from the fact that we have hundreds of thousand of readers from the US, and that if you love cars (and you probably wouldn’t be here if you didn’t) it’s interesting to know what the rest of the world gets, we have a suspicion that Toyota may just be considering launching Scion outside the US (actually, it is about to launch in Canada too – but that’s almost America. Apart from in the eyes of Canadians. And Americans).

The Toyota brand is tarnished.  And even Baby Boomers and Gen X looking at cars which are more fit for purpose rather than powerful and posy (again, back to generalisations). So what better time to roll out the Scion brand in Europe than now, when the marketplace is there and the core brand has problems?

Just a thought.

By Cars UK