If you're in the market for a hatchbacked Scion, you may want to make your way to your nearest dealership sooner rather than later. According to WardsAuto, Toyota's youth brand may be axing the funky xB and xD hatchbacks with no direct replacement in sight.
"We don't have plans for a direct xB or xD replacement," Scion vice president Jack Hollis told Wards. Hollis only echoed the sentiment of then-Toyota CEO Jim Lentz, who said that the second-generation xB "lost a little bit of its edge [and] some of its fun-to-drive characteristic."
The competition for the two hatchbacks has really heated up since the current xB and xD were launched in 2007. When the first xB was launched in 2004, it was the only "box on wheels" compact hatch in the U.S. market – now the field is beginning to crowd with both offerings from Scion, the Kia Soul, and Nissan's Cube. According to Wards, the xB moved just 17,017 units in 2011, while the Kia Soul topped 100,000 sales in the same time period. In the first three months of this year, just 2550 xBs and 4865 xDs have been moved off of Scion dealership lots.
Scion may not be the only one contemplating the small box market: Nissan has seen the sales of its slab-sided Cube pale in comparison to its cute-ute Juke crossover (2077 Cubes versus 9442 Jukes in the first three months of 2012). No surprise then than Nissan has begun paring back the Cube lineup; it discontinued the flashy Krom model line last year. A similar trend emerged in England, and ultimately led to Nissan dropping the car from its UK portfolio.
Hollis told Wards that Scion will stop selling the xD before it discontinues the xB; however, when we spoke to Scion, we were informed that there are currently no plans to kill off either model. That being said, representatives also declined to speak about any future product plans or potential replacements for either car.
With the introduction of the new Scion FR-S rear-wheel drive sports car, it is clear that Toyota is looking to inject some refreshed enthusiasm into its youth brand. If that's the case, utilitarian yet funky boxes like the xB and xD may not be a good fit for the future of Scion's lineup after all.
Source: WardsAuto (Subscription required)