Scion Plans to Leave Hybrid Cars to Toyota
Although Scion is a division of Toyota, the two brands are quite different. Toyota tends to focus on creating reliable, efficient vehicles with a focus on hybrids, while Scion is obviously aiming its cars squarely at a younger generation. It’s for this reason that Doug Murtha, Scion Group VP, says that his brand is unlikely to offer a hybrid vehicle anytime soon (or ever). Millennials simply aren’t interested in paying extra for hybrid technology.
“People think that [hybrids] would have a lot of appeal with our target audience; and it absolutely does, and the environmental benefits are nice,” Murtha told Green Car Reports. “But where it jumps the track is when we start talking about how much they might be willing to pay for a hybrid system: pretty much zero.”
Especially as cars with conventional engines continue to get more and more fuel efficient, younger drivers simply aren’t willing to shell out the extra dollars that accompany hybrid systems. And Scion’s market research backs this up. Millennials believe that hybrid powertrains should be standard offerings, and that they should cost the same as conventional cars. And in a perfect world, that would be true. Unfortunately, hybrid technology is pricier, and that doesn’t look set to change anytime soon.
Murtha uses the Toyota Prius c as a good example of why a hybrid simply isn’t an option for Scion currently. The Prius c, which has a starting MSRP of $19,540, would definitely appeal to Scion’s audience given its compact size, fun color choices, and standard features. But Prius c buyers are actually older than those who purchase the regular Prius hatchback. This is because younger drivers can get similar looks and features to the Prius c without having to spend the extra money. The Scion iA, for example, which will go on sale later this year, starts at around $16,000 and is expected to yield 42 mpg highway, compared to the Prius c’s 46 mpg highway.
So while Scion recognizes that its target market would ideally like the option of a hybrid model, it also recognizes that its audience simply won’t pay the extra required for a hybrid system. And that’s why—for now at least—Scion will stick to conventional offerings and leave the hybrid market for Toyota.
News Source: Green Car Reports