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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Head over to your favorite local Toyota dealer and car hop between the Toyotas and the Scions. Interior wise you'll find many of the same materials, touch points and switchgear. What you won't find however are matching head units.

Since Scions inception they've always gone their own way with regards to in car entertainment, preferring to bypass Toyota's proprietary systems for aftermarket units from Pioneer. 10 years ago Scion was one of the first companies to offer full iPod control, USB integration and Bluetooth streaming to economy car shoppers.

However the problem Scion is now facing is a lack of integration. What was once a large strength for them has now turned into a strategic weakness. Milennials are looking for slick interfaces and smart integration within their interiors. Scion isn't able to offer steering wheel controls, voice controls or multi-screen information screens because they essentially don't control product cadence in that aspect.

Scion VP Doug Murtha admitted such at the NY Auto Show. "We have a different head-unit development strategy, where on the Toyota side, unfortunately, our lead time is not all that different than our vehicle lead time, so we opted out of that cycle, and are taking more of an aftermarket method that not only lets us cascade a single new technology through the lineup within a few months but also come to market much more quickly with some things.”

Scion is finding that their traditional approach has aged with the consumers they USED to service. Their new demographics are seeking a customisable interior instead of flashy exterior fripperies. “What we find is that they still want something that allows them to not be like everyone else,” said Murtha. “But they’re more interested in doing things to their interior environment than they are in making some kind of exterior expression—and we’ve had to adjust.”

While Murtha says Scion will need to adjust one thing they won't be abandoning is their partnership with Pioneer. “I think we need to work with Pioneer and see what they can push to us on our scale, in short order,” he said. “But I acknowledge it’s clearly an opportunity for us and everybody else out there, an opportunity for customization.”

The paradox for Scion is they've not seen significant evidence that their target market is even willing to shell out the extra funds for a cohesive 'experience'...
 

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I'll always be in favor of this aftermarket strategy when it comes to low cost cars as financially and from a value point of view it makes sense. Less to integrate throughout the rest of the vehicle and like they said... come to market with new technology much quicker, giving affordable vehicles like Scions an edge over others, a slight edge.
 

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You guys are missing the point. The technology takes a back seat to a seamless experience. No matter how much 'technology' Scion and Pioneer are able to bring forward there is little evidence that consumers are willing to pay for it, especially not if they can't offer it seamlessly...
 

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technology definitely isn't a proiority here
scion is focusing on affordability
they're not ready to go all techy as other companies can and have
got to establish themsleves first.
 

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You guys are missing the point. The technology takes a back seat to a seamless experience. No matter how much 'technology' Scion and Pioneer are able to bring forward there is little evidence that consumers are willing to pay for it, especially not if they can't offer it seamlessly...
Can you give us more detail on what you mean by a "seamless experience"?
 

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Scion really needs to force Pioneer to offer a more integrated experience. With the number of units Toyota buys, there's no reason for the radios to not be made exactly to Toyota's spec.
 

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All depends how integrated Scion wants it to get, but thinking about it, all they would need to do from the Auris is to give it a Scion-looking interface.

Easy and effective.
 

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I think that Scion is trying to not be a carbon copy of Toyota, but in this case it may work better to just go with what Toyota already has and put a Scion badge on the home screen.
 

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I think that Scion is trying to not be a carbon copy of Toyota, but in this case it may work better to just go with what Toyota already has and put a Scion badge on the home screen.
Yeah, they're already getting the vehicle right from Toyota, it is a Toyota.

As long as it has those Scion things going on there shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Scion really needs to force Pioneer to offer a more integrated experience. With the number of units Toyota buys, there's no reason for the radios to not be made exactly to Toyota's spec.
Problem is I think Scion is buying Generic if not borderline aftermarket units. But yes I agree there should be a way to leverage better.

But then again, the aftermarket 'look' is what people wanted a few years ago, so perhaps its time to rethink their strategy as the demo has clearly changed...

Its 2015, they need steering wheel controls to be competitive (as absurd as I know that sounds)
 

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Problem is I think Scion is buying Generic if not borderline aftermarket units. But yes I agree there should be a way to leverage better.

But then again, the aftermarket 'look' is what people wanted a few years ago, so perhaps its time to rethink their strategy as the demo has clearly changed...

Its 2015, they need steering wheel controls to be competitive (as absurd as I know that sounds)
Scion should keep the aftermarket "look", but work closely with Pioneer so that the software colors and UI match the rest of the car. That really should not be hard, and if possible, should be developed as an update to existing Scions out there. Then have the upgrade installed at the dealer the next time the car is in for service -- should be as easy as flashing new software into the aftermarket headunit.
 

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In their defense they might see that at putting in too much effort while they're trying to establish themselves with solid volume products.
 

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Interestingly Toyota has freshly partnered with Ford to work on their SmartDeviceLink platform, basically open source version of Fords AppLink...

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, will explore working with Ford on integrating smartphone applications into future vehicles, the two companies said in e-mailed statements. Ford says its SmartDeviceLink technology allows companies like Pandora Inc. to develop apps only once for use in multiple infotainment systems, while also allowing carmakers to control the design of their dashboards.
Toyota-Ford Defend Control of Dashboard From Apple-Google - Bloomberg Business
 

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A good point was made here:

“They’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a lot of R&D resources into developing their own systems, so how can you then say ‘OK, Google and Apple, come in and take over’?” said Mark Boyadjis, an analyst for IHS Automotive. “The car companies need to be very shrewd with how they integrate things like CarPlay and Android Auto.”
 
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