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Scion To Boost Production

DETROIT, July 30, 2003; Reuters reported that after less than two months after going on sale, the new Scion brand is already asking parent Toyota Motor Corp.'s (Tokyo:7203.T - News) to raise its production for the U.S. market, a Scion official said on Thursday.

Toyota launched the Scion brand, targeted to young buyers looking for stylish vehicles priced under $16,000, in June with two cars for sale in California only.

Sales of the boxy xB tall wagon, which remind some of a 1970s conversion van, have been nearly triple the company's expectations, and the company is running short on supply, Scion Vice President Jim Farley told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.

"I was in Japan last week going to the plant asking for more cars," Farley said.

Toyota makes the xB and the xA, a sleek, five-door hatchback, at the Takaoka plant in Japan, he said.

Toyota sold 1,351 Scions in California in June, including about 50 to people from outside California.

"We had one person fly in from Germany. I don't know how they're going to register the car there," Farley said.

The more outlandish xB outsold the xA by a 2-to-1 margin, the opposite of what Scion officials thought would happen, Farley said. "It shocked us," he said.

Scion will expand to the east coast and the southeastern states early next year, and to the remainder of the country in the summer, when it will add a third vehicle to the lineup.

Farley said the third car will be more sporty. He said the car would share some design cues with the Toyota Concept Coupe Crossover (ccX), a multi-purpose two-door car shown at the New York auto show last year.

Scion is also considering adding a hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle to the lineup in a few years, but there are no plans to add a pickup truck, as some industry officials have speculated.

"We want to be really a premium small-car brand. And trucks confuse that," Farley said. "We're going to stay away from trucks."
 

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Price sells cars. The xB is way cheap for the recognition you get in it.

Toyota seems to be beating Honda at everything: Camry sells more than Accord, their trucks are outstanding while Honda doesn't have one, Lexus is far more prestigious than Acura, and now this. Expect Scion to come out with an AWD vehicle soon.
 

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I agree..

As far as a direct comparison though....the Scion wins in price and warranty but suffers in horsepower. After testing a RAV4 prior to purchasing the Element, I realized this is required to carry 4 people along with reasonable acceleration. No way could the Scion's 108 HP engine compete against the 160 Hp found with even a base DX model.
 

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Sell a small unusual looking car for under $15k and you've got GenY. I know when I was in my twenties, I wasn't looking to drop 2/3 of my annual salary on a ride. I think Honda came in a little high with the Element, which puts it in my demographic, 40 year old guys who are sick of driving what everyone else drives in order to buy a new car. The E is different and doesn't cost $40k, which again, I still don't want to spend 2/3 of my wife's annual salary for a ride.
 
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