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Jim Lentz Really Wants Scion to Be A Small-Premium Brand

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Jim Lentz

Scion iM Concept

Scion is still very much a brand that’s looking to appeal to a younger audience, which is evidenced enough by the iM Concept that will pave the way for a production model next year.

Toyota NA CEO Jim Lentz, however, seems to have a different direction in mind for Scion: small-premium brand.

“I still personally believe small-premium is the direction we should be going,” Lentz told WardsAuto in an interview. “I think that (the) Toyota channel, itself, with vehicles like Yaris and other small, B-platform cars, can handle the lower end of the market. I think that C-platform premium small cars are probably the best place for Scion to be.”

In a separate interview with Wards, Scion VP Doug Murtha reiterated that the brand’s focus was youth-oriented, responding to Lentz’s comments by saying, “He may be having discussions at levels I’m not.”

“If he’s able to somehow lobby to take the brand in a new direction, that’s probably a longer-term proposition than we’re looking at right now,” Murtha added.

Sounds like Scion is embroiled in a bit of the ol’ sitcom miscommunication. We imagine that meetings take place where lower-level employees are instructed to pass messages up and down the table while Doug and Jim turn their noses up at each other and huff defiantly.

Murtha added that Scion is considering a utility vehicle, provided that it fits within the brand’s image, but that it has no plans for a green car or a pickup truck.

Unfortunately, Jim Lentz didn’t suddenly bust in with armfuls of swag for the suddenly-announced Scion Lo-L mid-size entry luxury, all-electric pickup, because that would have just been the best.