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Toyota rushes to meet xB demand

By Richard Truett
Automotive News / August 04, 2003


DETROIT - In trying to predict which of the two new Scion models would be more popular - a boxy utility vehicle or a Euro-styled hatchback - Toyota Motor Corp. officials got it backward.

Early buyers of the Scion brand of youth-oriented vehicles have chosen the boxy xB over the xA hatchback by a 2-1 margin.

Scions have been on sale for two months, in California only.

Scion customers bought 900 xBs and 450 xAs in June, the reverse of how Toyota thought sales would go.

Sales for July were 1,619 units, with 1,065 being xBs and the remainder xAs.

Last week, Scion Vice President Jim Farley said he has asked the Toyota factory in Takaoka, Japan, for an increase in xB production.

The vehicle, which resembles a junior version of a 1980s Chevrolet Astro van, is marketed in Japan as the bB.

Farley said he wants double the amount of xBs that Scion originally planned, but getting more xBs could be difficult. He said the factory already is working two shifts.

"We'll get caught up," he said during a meeting with reporters at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich.

The xA starts at $12,965; the xB starts at $14,165. Both prices include freight charges.

In other Scion news:

# The average Scion buyer is spending $1,000 on accessories. The average Toyota customer spends $310 on accessories.

# About 50 buyers from 24 states and Germany bought a Scion vehicle in California and registered it outside the state. "If you tell Americans they can't buy something, they go crazy to get it," Farley said.

# Scion is considering offering vehicles with primer but no paint. The vehicles would be aimed at customers who sand off the original paint and replace it with a custom color. Farley said that a vehicle with primer only would cost more than a painted version.

# The third vehicle for the Scion line, due for the 2005 model year, will be a performance-oriented sporty car along the lines of a Honda Civic Si, Farley said. Scion hopes to sell about 100,000 units annually once all three models are available and the cars are sold nationwide.
 

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Thanks for the info. biker16. I emailed the local Toyota Dealer here in New Hampshire and was told that the Scion will not be here until Spring. 2004 that is.
 

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I know you can never truely judge what the market is going to demand, but it is interesting that they thought backwards for a new product line that was so researched.

Just goes to show you I suppose.
 

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# Scion is considering offering vehicles with primer but no paint. The vehicles would be aimed at customers who sand off the original paint and replace it with a custom color. Farley said that a vehicle with primer only would cost more than a painted version.
Uh, wow.

Anyone have anything on the sporty one they mentioned at the end? I wonder what will power it?
 

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this sporty model in 05 sounds promising. Im not a fan of the other two because of the power they put out.
 

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I just got a look at the Scions(Xa and Xb) at HIN this weekend and WOW!!! The Xb had a supercharger on it to give it a little more power but I was shocked how great the car/van looked for so little money. I'm definately going to consider it for my next car purchase.
 

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Here's the way I've been seeing it lately:

$14,500 for an xB
$ 1,000 in options
$ 1,000 for 17" wheels and tires
$ 3,000 for a supercharger
$ 200 for springs
$ 200 for shocks
$ 300 for header (?)
--------------------------------
$20,200 for a tricked out xB


For that much money, I could get a lot of other cars that would be a lot faster without a supercharger. I think the xB is really a hypemobile. I know I used to be the champion of Scion vehicles, but after really looking at the value, they don't seem like much of one. Even with forced induction, what are you going to be making at the wheels? 140 if you're lucky? (I've seen dynos at about 95 hp to the wheels stock.) I really like the xB's looks but I'm starting to lose faith in them.
 

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Here's the way I've been seeing it lately:

$14,500 for an xB
$ 1,000 in options
$ 1,000 for 17" wheels and tires
$ 3,000 for a supercharger
$ 200 for springs
$ 200 for shocks
$ 300 for header (?)
--------------------------------
$20,200 for a tricked out xB


For that much money, I could get a lot of other cars that would be a lot faster without a supercharger. I think the xB is really a hypemobile. I know I used to be the champion of Scion vehicles, but after really looking at the value, they don't seem like much of one. Even with forced induction, what are you going to be making at the wheels? 140 if you're lucky? (I've seen dynos at about 95 hp to the wheels stock.) I really like the xB's looks but I'm starting to lose faith in them.
you could say the same about a focus. i dont think toyota is marketing the scions to be a hp contender. i think it's an alternative to suv's and wagons targeted to a younger crowd.

i scanned part of the brochure i got from the scion booth. this is the xb i saw this weekend.

Click here for larger pic
 

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Is it just me or does the xA look like a Vitz??

Warning just my stupid opinion:

Does't the xB remind you of a toaster? The Honda element does to me and the xB is even more so
 

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The xA is the same car as the Toyota Ist.

I know that Scion isn't going for the high-hp figures. But with all the talk of modding them, it just seems like a waste of money for power upgrades. I mean really – 108 hp? At least the Focus has 130 (not including the SPI). I just think they're not a great value when you start adding options and modding them and what not. As I mentioned, I love the looks. If they came with 120 hp i'd think differently, but then again, they probably wouldn't be only $14,500.
 

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Man I must be old (36). I understand the xB is targeted at a younger demographic, one of which I'm waaay out of apparently. I can't find anything appealing about it at all. I'd actually feel silly driving it.

Actually I feel the same way about the Honda Element. Interestingly, about the only people around here I see with Elements are older women; I've yet to see anyone in their 20s driving one....
 

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Is it just me or does the xA look like a Vitz??

Warning just my stupid opinion:

Does't the xB remind you of a toaster? The Honda element does to me and the xB is even more so
Im not sure how similar the Vitz is to the xA but in Canada Toyota sells the Echo Hatchback, which is a rebadged vitz.


And yes the Element and xB do look like toasters.


How tunable are the Scions? Any fun goodies that would help them keep up with highway traffic?
 

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Man I must be old (36). I understand the xB is targeted at a younger demographic, one of which I'm waaay out of apparently. I can't find anything appealing about it at all. I'd actually feel silly driving it.

Actually I feel the same way about the Honda Element. Interestingly, about the only people around here I see with Elements are older women; I've yet to see anyone in their 20s driving one....
I am also 36years old and like the Scion xB and the Honda Element. Here in NH a girl that I work w/ just bought the Element and she is only 21.
 

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I'll take the xA over the xB anyday....
The xA is [censored] sweet!!!!!!!! Even if it might not be very powerful, it just screams quality.
 

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Is it just me or does the xA look like a Vitz??

Warning just my stupid opinion:

Does't the xB remind you of a toaster? The Honda element does to me and the xB is even more so
The xB does not look like a toaster. But the Focus looks like a wanna-be Civic...hell the Focus looks like a turtle too.

I like the xB. Actualy got to see one down here and damn it looks hella tight.
 

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I'll take an xA and throw a vitz RS fron clip on.
Hehe...just get one Echo and...

 

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I'll take the xA over the xB anyday....
The xA is [censored] sweet!!!!!!!! Even if it might not be very powerful, it just screams quality.
It screams UGLY! Im not a fan at all even if it had more power. Looks silly.
 

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I'll take the xA over the xB anyday....
The xA is [censored] sweet!!!!!!!! Even if it might not be very powerful, it just screams quality.
It screams UGLY! Im not a fan at all even if it had more power. Looks silly.
And then you own a Focus.


*edit: you own two of them
 
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