Scion May Design, Develop More Products in North America

Even if its vehicles were occasionally offered overseas, Toyota's Scion brand is, above all, exclusive to the North America. As such, it seems likely that the design and development of future Scion models will be performed in the U.S -- not Japan.

Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress, Yoshi Inaba, president of Toyota Motor North America, said Scion development would likely shift to the countries where the brand is sold.

"We all recognize the importance of Scion," he said. "It should be more locally developed."

For the time being, only one of Scion's three models -- the tC -- was developed in North America, and remains exclusive to the market. Both the xB and xD were designed in Japan, where they are offered as the bB and Ist, respectively. The iQ, which Inaba says will join the Scion lineup by the end of this year, was also developed primarily for Toyota's European customers.

A revised tC, due later in 2010, was developed in the U.S., but Inaba would like to see the development of other future Scions led by Toyota's U.S. staff. Although he is still uncertain about what models could or will be added to the Scion brand, Inaba says the Scion's role -- exposing younger buyers to the Toyota portfolio -- hasn't changed.

"We will figure out what we need," he said. "The important thing is to try and appeal to a younger segment. The role of Scion is to grow them into Toyota or Lexus vehicles."

Source: Automotive News

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