Toyota seeks to avoid midlife crisis for youthful Scion brand
* Toyota execs mull repositioning of 10-year-old brand
* One option: reinvention as a premium small car brand
* Scion also looks at hybrid, crossover, 4-door sedan
* Brand's 2012 sales were less than half its 2006 peak
By Ben Klayman
DETROIT, April 3 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp executives are weighing repositioning Scion as a line of premium small cars as they debate the youth brand's future in the United States.
A decade after its launch as a way to lure younger buyers into Toyota showrooms, Scion is still a work in progress as it looks to rebound from low sales during the recession. The brand is a relatively small seller for Toyota, with its five models selling 73,500 vehicles last year. That compares with Toyota's four-car Prius line, which sold almost 237,000.
The Japanese automaker's top executives concede that Scion is at a crossroads of sorts.
"There's still debate on where we should go from here," Jim Lentz, Toyota's newly appointed chief executive of North America, told Reuters in a recent interview. Continued...