No new Scion models soon despite falling U.S. sales: Toyota executive

Thu Sep 5, 2013 6:08pm EDT
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By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT (Reuters) - Scion, Toyota Motor Corp's (7203.T: Quote) sagging youth-oriented brand, will not be rejuvenated by fresh models on its U.S. showroom floors anytime soon, a top U.S. Toyota executive said on Thursday.

Bob Carter, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said that while the company's main Toyota brand is rolling out fresh products this year, the 1,000 U.S. Toyota dealers that also handle Scion will have to wait longer.

"We have a very robust and very exciting product cadence coming for Scion, however, it's further down the pipeline," Carter told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Scion sales through August were down 1.6 percent from a year earlier. At this pace, this year's Scion sales will be only about 40 percent of that of the brand's peak year in 2006.

Carter would not be specific on the timing of any new product for Scion, saying only that nothing new was coming in the next half year.

Carter last month told U.S. Toyota dealers they could drop the Scion brand without penalty.

While some analysts said that signaled the beginning of the end of the Scion brand at Toyota, Carter said that was not so.

"We are absolutely committed to the brand as our youth strategy going into the future," Carter said.   Continued...

An employee of Toyota Motor Corp prepares to open the company's showroom in Nagoya, central Japan July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai