Toyota NA CEO Jim Lentz wants youth brand to go upmarket

If Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz had his way, Scion would become a brand of small premium cars, an angle he’s still advocating for as the brand looks to bring three new production models to market in the near future.

Speaking with WardsAuto, Lentz stated, “I still personally believe small-premium is the direction we should be going. 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.”

However, Vice President of Scion, Doug Murtha, who was at the Los Angeles Auto Show press conference to showcase the bound-for-production iM Concept, said the youth market is still the focus of the brand.

“We’re still going after a younger audience. We still need that attainability factor. If [Lentz is] 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,” stated Murtha.


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