Scion is a division of Toyota Motor Corporation. Intended solely for the North American market, Scion cars are models not previously sold in the U.S. The intended market is young and “hip.” The marketing hinges on Japanese youth culture, and is slanted toward exclusiveness and coolness by using so-called “viral” marketing techniques.
The cars, however, are just Toyotas. Toyota has invested a lot in tooling left-hand-drive versions of these cars. Intended to have a separate sales network, Scion is now an auxiliary brand at Toyota dealers. This is fortunate for Scion owners, because service is typical high-quality Toyota. Toyota dealers have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it brings in buyers who wouldn’t consider purchasing a Toyota. On the other hand, Toyota is popular with the American youth market and an additional line forces the dealers to pay for keeping more cars on their lot.
Scion models are simpler than the range of Toyota cars, and they are cheaper and easier to repair. To save on investment, Scion uses engines that are emissions-certified by Toyota. This means that parts and repairs are straightforward, and Toyota mechanics can do the work. Parts will mostly be bought at the dealer, because the cars haven’t been on sale long enough for the aftermarket or salvage industry to build up an inventory. Assuming that Scion survives the recession, parts supplies should increase with each passing year. Commonality of parts with Toyotas ensures that they will never be complete orphans.
Scions are offered with few options, so finding the correct part will not be a problem. Still, the VIN and under-hood engine code should accompany trips to the parts store or dealer. Being Toyota products, Scions should not be needing many repairs in the near future. The brand has only been sold in the U.S. since 2004, and only high-mileage cars will be needing more than routine service. It will be interesting to see how Scion’s foray into the world of unusual and entertaining cars turns out. It has certainly resulted in a more colorful stream of traffic on the streets.