Jack Goes on the Attack at Scion Town Hall
April 19, 2010
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Details, Details -- Scion VP Jack Hollis touts Scion on this mock magazine cover.
Is Scion’s primary target a young buyer who will remain loyal to the Scion brand for many years?
If you answer yes, prepare for a “Jack Attack.”
“Is youth the primary target? No. The primary target is a unique mindset,” Scion Vice President Jack Hollis explained at an April 13 town hall meeting in Torrance, Calif.
Nor is Scion looking for loyal Scion lifers. After introducing buyers to the Toyota family, a company they wouldn’t have considered otherwise, Scion wants to move them into Toyota and Lexus vehicles. “Ultimately, it’s about the family of vehicles, how to cast the widest net possible,” he said. “Scion opens the gate.”
Almost seven years after Toyota opened the gate to Scion, Hollis provided an energetic update at a meeting billed as a “Jack Attack.” His presentation was punctuated by sirens that beckoned members of the audience to answer questions, like the one about Scion’s primary target (for the record, the secondary target is youth between the ages of 18 and 24).
In response to one of the most important questions – “have we been successful?” – Hollis said yes.
- Scion has sold over 760,000 vehicles, and 72 percent of the buyers were new to Toyota brands
- The median age of Scion buyers is 38, the youngest in the industry
- Scion owners are the most ethnically diverse among non-luxury brands in the industry.
Still, Scion can improve. Increasing sales volume is the biggest challenge this year, Hollis said.
2011 Scion tC
2011 Scion iQ
To boost sales and engagement with the community, Scion is looking at every non-traditional promotion possible. Concurrently, Scion is asking dealers to pay more attention to the brand. At one time, 90 percent of dealerships had Scion champions. That percentage dropped to 40 percent before climbing back up to 75 percent. Scion champions are being encouraged to create Facebook pages and host at least one grassroots activity per year.
Another challenge has been a dearth of new products. But that is changing with the new Scion tC and iQ introduced last month at the New York International Auto Show. The vehicles are now touring the country to create buzz before the tC goes on sale this fall and the iQ arrives in showrooms during the first quarter of 2011.
Although Scion isn’t fueling sales with traditional incentives like Toyota and Lexus, it is offering its own enticements. For example, its “Join the Fight Against Commonism” campaign provides a $1,000 vehicle rebate to members of the military.
And the rebate is just part of the outreach. Members of the Scion team have written letters to military men and women thanking them for their service to their country. Last December, Scion sponsored a holiday program that enabled servicemen and women deployed overseas to send their children a miniature die cast or plush tC at no cost, along with a personalized message.
This approach sums up the Scion philosophy. “We’re not just trying to sell them a car,” Hollis said. “It’s building a relationship, authentically.”
By Susan Pack