SAN DIEGO – The Scion tC model line someday could support more body styles beyond a coupe, a top Scion official says.
“This platform has plenty of flexibility to do more with,” Jack Hollis, Scion vice president-Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., tells Ward’s in an interview.
The tC is based on’s MC platform, which underpins the Lexus HS 250h hybrid-electric sedan in the U.S. and Toyota Avensis in Europe. The Avensis comes in 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback and wagon body styles.
Hollis doesn’t tip his hand regarding any particular variants on tap, but he does concede a 5-door tC is “possible.”
Meanwhile, Hollis defends the conservative redesign of the new ʼ11 tC, on sale Oct. 1.
The first tC debuted in 2004 as an ’05, with Scion aiming for a “half-the-price” Audi A4 orcoupe, then-Scion Vice President Jim Farley told Ward’s.
The ’11 tC wears a more aggressive look and is geared toward male buyers, while the outgoing tC bears a softer, more “feminine” exterior design, Hollis says.
“The new tC (is) way more angular, way more Scion-esque than the first tC,” he says. “I think this tC is taking what was best of the original and is Scion-izing it.”
Yet, Hollis acknowledges, even with the changes, the new tC doesn’t stray too far from the car it replaces. Scion’s decision to do a revolutionary, rather than evolutionary, redesign marks an effort to maintain volume and avoid making the car too “niche,” he says.
Now in existence for seven years, Scion still is targeting the youth market, but Hollis says youth is more a mindset than a particular age.
“There’s a whole bunch of 62-year-olds driving some of our cars that are much more Scion-esque than some 22-year-olds coming out of college,” he says.
“When (Scion) started, I don’t think they were necessarily trying to be a youth brand,” Hollis adds. “Today (it’s not) trying to be a youth brand (either). It’s just that the youth tend to be more aggressive in their mindset. It’s just the natural outcome.”
The median age of the Scion buyer is in the low 30s, with the tC having the youngest median age, 26, of all Scion models.
The brand still is accomplishing two of its original goals: to bring people into the Toyota family and eventually to funnel them into the Toyota brand.
About 70% of Scion buyers are new to Toyota, and some 60% of those opt for a Toyota-brand product when trading in a Scion, Hollis says.
Six of the top 10 vehicles those buyers purchase post-Scion are Toyotas, he says, and include the Corolla, Camry and Matrix passenger cars, as well as the Tacoma compact pickup truck and RAV4 cross/utility vehicle.