As prepared for:
2014 Los Angeles Auto Show
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Doug Murtha, Vice President, Scion Division
Good afternoon and thanks for joining us. I have to say, I’m really happy to be here in LA and not just because it’s right in Scion’s backyard…it’s also MY backyard.
I grew up not too far from here and when I was a kid I used to come to this show with my parents, usually when they were in the market for a new car. I’m sure I drove them nuts climbing in and out of the cars, pushing all the buttons, and adding my two cents on what they should buy. Of course MY picks never seemed to wind up in our garage.
Fortunately, we have a number of garage-worthy cars to share with you today, along with some other cool things we have going on at Scion, so let’s get things started.
First off, you may have noticed something in our space over there that looks like a show car. It’s that two-tone black and magma orange tC that could be straight off the floor at SEMA. And it is…
A similar FR-S was one of the stars of the 2012 SEMA show. The response to that car was so strong, we asked our partners at Cartel Customs to help us bring it to life again, but this time as a production car.
So two weeks ago, we debuted this tC Release Series 9.0 in Vegas. The color scheme, aero kit, and center exhaust definitely turned some heads.
It starts at just $23,190 and we think it'll be a great draw for anyone looking to stand out a bit from the crowd. We're only building 2,000 of them and they'll go on sale in January 2015.
But that’s not the only new car news we have for you.
Today we'll reveal a concept version of the first of three new vehicles heading for Scion dealerships over the next three years.
These new products each reflect the very different mindset of the younger people we're looking to attract, in the same way our initial lineup did when we first launched, right here in LA, in 2003. Back then, many of our customers could afford to be more carefree. They had a “do-your-own-thing” outlook that was supported by better employment options, lower student debt and easy access to the Bank of Mom and Dad.
Today's younger buyers have that same independent spirit and desire to stand out but have adopted a degree of practicality that aligns with their need. . .and desire. . . for more self- reliance. You may have seen these values reflected in our recent promotions, including the “For the Driven” campaign which appeared in both high-profile and off-beat media.
This campaign features real self-starters, and the businesses they've developed, in both TV spots and on-line profiles.
Scion has always tapped into the passions and interests of our customers, and we continue that today through various partnerships with artists in distinct genres.
If you were at SEMA, you probably saw specialty vehicles for two of these partners: thrash metal band Slayer and skateboarder Riley Hawk.
The Slayer tC features suicide doors, banks of speakers, amps and guitar jacks, and will make appearances on Slayer’s current tour.
The Riley Hawk xB is a throwback to the 70s with a custom paint job, plush shag carpeting, a CB radio and an 8-track player. This model was a hit with the younger crowd…and with people who remember the real deal.
Other Scion partnerships underway include DJ Steve Aoki, indie rocker Olivia Jean and designer ASAP Illz, who are working with us to create unique content for our social channels and dedicated lifestyle Web site, Scion A/V.
Connecting with these audiences plays an important role in Scion remaining a unique car company with distinct products and processes. And nowhere is Scion’s role as a laboratory more important than in the customer experience at the dealership.
Since Scion launched, we have offered a Pure Price model where the dealer’s advertised price is what customers pay. It’s no haggle and no hassle. But today’s customers have come to expect more, so we’re taking the model to the next level and testing a program called Pure Process Plus.
With Pure Process Plus, buyers can research the car they want through Scion.com, find it at a dealership, apply for credit, and secure a price, all without leaving their couch.
We’re testing this at more than 50 Scion dealerships across the country and successfully reducing the time it takes to buy a car. We’re still working with our dealers and our partners at Toyota Financial Services to fine-tune the process and add new features, but we expect to significantly expand its reach before our first new car hits the showrooms.
Speaking of new cars, it’s time to show some metal.
This new Scion concept is a vehicle that’s ready for adventure. With versatility, sporty handling and a captivating design, it’s ready for whatever fun comes its way.
Introducing the new iM Concept…
Looks great, doesn't it?
We’re calling it iM Concept with the i standing for:
- and a good fit for customers’ Incomes
And the M?
- Multifaceted, and
The iM Concept marries sleek styling with the versatility of a 5-door hatchback for those who want the freedom to load up their car with friends and gear and escape their daily routines.
These buyers want something comfortable, technologically advanced, with great features and styling that doesn't look like everything else on the road.
This version was built by Troy Sumitomo of Five Axis and was inspired by cars seen on the European Touring Circuit.
- a wider stance and lower ride height for a grounded appearance
- front and rear bumper overhangs that create dynamic surfaces and dramatic character
- edgy geometric grille inserts, deep air intakes and fog lights
- Large 19-inch forged alloy wheels positioned flush to the body.
- And vented rotors with 4-piston front calipers that work with the adjustable-height racing suspension.
The paint, which we call “Incredi-blue”, combines with matte silver and gunmetal accents to complement the car’s racing inspiration and fun-to-drive spirit.
A production version of the iM Concept WILL become a reality. Now all it needs is outstanding fuel economy and a price under $20,000. But you're going to have to stay tuned for that.
The new Scion will debut at the New York Auto Show, along with another model soon to join the line-up. So come and see us again in New York next April.
But before I go, there’s something we expect many young people to be doing here this week that I never dreamed of as a kid…taking selfies with their favorite cars – especially the Scions. I may be too old for 'selfies' but YOU can still beat them to the punch.
So be sure to pick up your own “Scion Selfie Stick” at the back of our space.
As always, we’d like to ask that you give the photographers a moment to jump up on stage before coming up to join them.
Enjoy the rest of the show.