Scion Vice President Doug Murtha answered questions from some Jalopnik readers recently. Below I've listed some of the more interesting exchanges and at the end I'll post the link so you can read the entire conversation. Enjoy!
Q: "Why does Scion push so hard to market that everything is "customizable" but going into any Scion dealer, it's just a matter of what's on the lot and getting something "customized" is like pulling teeth?"
A: "Two parts:
1. I think, our read on the market's interest in customization has changed. Some of the more over-the-top executions in the 2000s were right for the time (and the wallets at the time.) what we've seen is an ongoing interesting in personalization. But a more subtle approach in execution.
2. The critique about dealerships offering a proper array is a valid criticism and something we're looking to address."
Q: "Questions as to the future positioning of the brand have been raised. I've seen the gamut run everywhere from "value-leading" to "premium" futures, and right now it seems to sit somewhere awkwardly between commuter (iQ, xB, xD) and enthusiast (tC, FR-S) offerings.
So let's set the record straight: Where's Scion going over the next couple of years, and where does the company see itself fitting in the U.S. auto market?"
A: "A fair question. The lineup when you look at it as always been eclectic and will continue to be. I don't see us coming up with a five model lineup that fits nicely into any category. For now, the brand is going to emphasize attainability for the younger audience that we're trying to attract, but over the long term — true to our mandate as laboratory — we do reserve the right to move the brand in different directions.
I think what they're commenting on some comments by Jim Lentz, that that's one potential future as a near-luxury space. While that's within the realm of possibility over the long term, that's not where we're going with the next three products joining the lineup."
Ask Scion's Doug Murtha Anything You Want About The BrandQ: "The scion crowd is currently seen as quite unsavory will there be any plans to work on re-branding and maybe get away from the jersey shore type of crowd that the scion brand is currently known for?"
A: "I'm doing my best to single-handedly turn the tide of tC owner image one car at a time (I own one). We are aware of the perceptions of the brand and looking at both product offering and communication to better portray the person who is actually buying our cars."