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Friday, February 5, 2016

Scion Brand to Transition to Toyota

Valuable Insights Will Aid Toyota in Attracting New, Young Customers

Scion, established as a separate brand in 2003 as a laboratory to explore new products and processes to attract youth customers, is now transitioning back to the Toyota brand. Scion achieved its goals of developing unique products and processes, and bringing in new, younger customers to Toyota. With more than a million cars sold, 70 percent of Scions were purchased by customers new to Toyota and 50 percent were under 35 years old.

“This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota. Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network,” said Jim Lentz, founding vice president of Scion and now CEO, Toyota Motor North America. “I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. I’m very proud because that’s exactly what we have accomplished.

“We could not have achieved the success we have had without the incredible support of Scion’s customers, dealers and team members, so supporting them throughout this transition process will be one of our top priorities,” said Lentz.

Toyota’s decision was made in response to customers’ needs. Today’s younger buyers still want fun-to-drive vehicles that look good, but they are also more practical. They, like their parents, have come to appreciate the Toyota brand and its traditional attributes of quality, dependability and reliability. At the same time, new Toyota vehicles have evolved to feature the dynamic styling and handling young people desire.      

Scion has consistently been the youngest brand in the auto industry with an average age of 36 years old. At 29, the tC sports coupe has the lowest-average age buyer in the industry. The most recent additions to the line-up, the iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback, are bringing in new buyers with 70 percent being first-time new car purchasers. Additionally, more than 50 percent of iM and iA buyers are under 35 years old. 

As part of the brand transition, beginning in August 2016, MY17 Scion vehicles will be rebadged as Toyotas. The FR-S sports car, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback will become part of the Toyota family. The tC sports coupe will have a final release series edition and end production in August 2016. The C-HR, which recently debuted at the L.A. Auto Show, will be a part of the Toyota line-up.

The service and repair process for Scion customers will be unaffected by this change as customers will continue to visit Toyota dealerships’ service departments.  

“We appreciate our 1,004 Scion dealers and the support they’ve given the brand,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “We believe our dealers have gained valuable insights and have received a strong return on their investment. During this time of transition, we will work closely with them to support this process and help communicate this change to customers.”  

Scion’s 22 dedicated team members, who represent sales, marketing, distribution, strategy, and product and accessories planning, will have the opportunity to take on new jobs at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in Torrance. Scion regional representatives will assume different responsibilities in their respective Toyota sales offices.   

“Scion has had some amazing products over the years and our current vehicles are packed with premium features at value prices,” said Andrew Gilleland, Scion vice president. “It’s been a great run and I’m proud that the spirit of Scion will live on through the knowledge and products soon to be available through the Toyota network.”
Scion Accomplishments: 

Scion Processes - Scion served as a laboratory for products and key sales and marketing processes that have provided valuable lessons for other Toyota brands:

  • Pure Pricing – dealers set a price for a car and customers did not need to negotiate
  • Mono-Spec cars – providing cars with only two options: transmission and color
  • Personalization – offering a large array of accessories to help customers customize their vehicles
  • Pure Process – transparent financing process
  • Pure Process Plus – an online system so much of the car-purchase process could be completed online
  • Scion Service Boost – pre-paid maintenance plan
  • Release Series – dynamic life cycle management through special features and options
  • Grassroots marketing – initial Scion brand was “discovered” by customers through unique events
Scion Products -- Scion has had some outstanding products that have made an impact in the industry including the original “box,” the xB and the FR-S affordable sports car. The tC sports coupe has consistently attracted the youngest buyer in the industry.
Scion Executives -- Scion served as an important training ground for Toyota vice presidents, many of whom have been promoted to other roles:

  • Jim Lentz -- Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America
  • Mark Templin – Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation, Executive Vice President, Lexus International
  • Jack Hollis – Group Vice President, Toyota Marketing
  • Doug Murtha – Group Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning, Toyota Motor North America
  • Andrew Gilleland – current Vice President, Scion

Scion sales by model and year: 

Scion Sales History
2003 - 2015
FR-S        011,41718,32714,06210,50754,313
iQ       02488,8794,0462,04048215,695
tC 28,06274,41579,12563,85240,98017,99815,20422,43322,66619,09417,94716,459418,235
xD    10,94827,66514,49910,1109,57310,7569,0057,377794100,727
xA3,96224,18428,03332,6039,547393      98,371
iA            7,6057,605
iM            5,0975,097

Friday, January 29, 2016

Scion Shows Energy at 2016 North American International Auto Show

New models, hot concept and powerful specialty vehicles make appearance in exhibit

Following a year of launching two new models with a sales flourish and showing a hot new concept, Scion enters 2016 as one of the auto industry’s most energized brands. The Scion exhibit at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) puts this excitement on full display with its lineup of youth-oriented models.
Among the 11 vehicles on display including the iM, iA and tC, Scion will show the C-HR concept for the first time since its world debut last November. The C-HR concept features an iconic design that incorporates functionality and sporty performance. The model targets young urban creatives, or “yuccies,” who desire vehicles that are distinctive, sophisticated, passionate and clean. The production version is expected to be shown later this year.
The FR-S Release Series 2.0, the most stylish version of the sports car ever offered, makes an appearance in Detroit. The FR-S Release Series 2.0 and is the most exclusive Scion Release Series yet. The exterior is painted in Lunar Storm color with 17-inch forged alloy wheels. The interior is distinguished by camel-colored accents on the black Alcantara and leather seats. The color combination is carried to the doors and steering wheel for a premium look. Production of the Release Series 2.0 is limited to just 1,000 vehicles available.
The Scion exhibit also features two specialty vehicles that show the power and capability of Scion models. The FR-S that competed in Colorado’s legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this past June will be on display. The vehicle was designed by Mackin Industries as a special project build in 2013 for the SEMA show. It has been modified with a larger turbo charger, improved engine/drivetrain cooling systems, a stand-alone ECU, an E85 fuel system and a more aggressive aero package.
The Pikes Peak FR-S will be joined by another FR-S that was one of only nine vehicles on the North American leg of Toyota’s Ever-Better Expedition. The Expedition was a 110-day transcontinental journey last summer for Toyota’s team members to feel the road, experience vehicle performance, connect with customers and gather new insights to inspire the design and development of future vehicles.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Super Bowl Commercial Sneak Peak: 2016 Toyota Prius

Unfortunately, the Seahawks fell short of making it to the big game, the Super Bowl, this year, but that doesn't mean we have to tune in just to watch the Broncos hopefully tromp the Panthers.

We still have the commercials to look forward to, too! That, and the food.

Be sure to look out for this 2016 Toyota Prius Spot during the Super Bowl because, as we all know, the 2016 Toyota Prius America's favorite hybrid.

Be sure to stop by Burien for all your Prius and hybrid vehicle needs because we are the hybrid headquarters of the Puget Sound!

Here's what we get to look forward to during the Super Bowl:

In III, a cocky young gunslinger guaranteed and then delivered a victory to bring an unlikely trophy to Broadway.
In XVIII, a shifty running back in silver and black reversed field to stun Washington and to raid a title for L.A. 
In XLII, a previously unheralded wide receiver’s helmet catch ruined a perfect season.

And in 50, the 2016 Toyota Prius will make a play of its own, starring in a 90-second ad that will air Feb. 7 during America’s biggest sporting event.
Those guys up there, they didn’t deliver the biggest plays on the biggest stage by accident. No, they worked at it, bled for it. They practiced and practiced until it just came naturally. They had swagger, sure, but how could they not? When you do what you do for so long, great performances just become second nature.
And we’re not saying Prius is going to outshine those other performances – actually, maybe we are. But with 50-plus miles per gallon and a sleek new design, Toyota has a little extra swagger with this icon.
So let’s talk about the Prius. Toyota brought it to market in Japan in 1997, and to the United States in 2000. And since then, it’s been improvement after improvement. Now comes the fourth generation with a longer, sleeker exterior, a low center of gravity, and world-changing technology that will toss everything you thought you knew about Prius driving out the window.
You see, this is big. And the only stage big enough to handle this Prius is 50, the game so big roman numerals can’t do it justice anymore.
“We can’t wait to show off this Prius on the world’s biggest stage,” said Jack Hollis, Toyota’s group vice president of marketing.
So what did you expect? You don’t run ads for a car like this as some late night infomercial. No, you go to the biggest stage, where more than 100 million people can gather round, wide-eyed and drop-jawed in between scoops of guacamole dip.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Toyota Camry Hybrid Enforces More Law Per Gallon

On the surface, it’s just an environmental thing: A gas/electric hybrid is going to emit less pollutants than a gasoline-only power train. But it’s also going to use less fuel and get more mpg and at low speeds, it’s quieter than a gasoline engine.  Think of it as a “stealth mode” when running only on electric power.  For a cop car, that makes it easier to sneak up on the bad guys.  These are just a few of the advantages discovered by the Arkadelphia, Arkansas Police Department when they replaced 10 of their aging Crown Victorias with Toyota Camry Hybrids.

See the video HERE.
At first, “I was dead set against it,” says veteran officer Don Cleek.  “To me, a police car’s supposed to be rear wheel drive, V8 and can go through ditches.” In short, he didn’t believe the hybrids would be up to the job.  But that didn’t stop city manager Jimmy Bolt from pushing Chief of Police Al Harris to give the Camry Hybrids a try.  After a few months in the field, it was pretty clear:  The hybrids were doing every bit as well on the job as the Crown Vics.  What’s more, they were getting about 27 mpg in all-city driving (compared to about 12 to 14 mpg on the Crown Vics) AND thanks to the fuel savings and much lower maintenance costs, the city of Arkadelphia was saving itself about 3% of its annual budget.  In short, even Officer Cleek now agrees it’s a lot easier to be an environmentalist when you’re catching the crooks and saving money to boot!
You can see the whole story for yourself in a new short documentary by filmmaker Peter Byck, director of 2011’s Carbon Nation. Click here to watch the film. To learn more about Toyota’s Hybrid Technology, visit the Toyota display this week at the Washington, DC Auto Show, January 22-31, 2016, at the Washington Convention Center.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Toyota Displays a Mirai-Based Research Vehicle with Satellite Communications Function

Accelerates Connected Technology Development through Collaboration with Kymeta

At the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Toyota is displaying a research vehicle based on the Mirai fuel cell vehicle which is equipped with satellite communications technology from Kymeta, a U.S.-based company that is the world’s leader in flat-panel antenna technology.
Toyota is working to enhance its connected technologies, including a plan to install a Data Communication Module into a broader range of its vehicles. The company is also considering using satellite communications in the future, including high capacity satellites that offer much higher data transfer rates than conventional satellite technologies.
While these satellites have historically required the use of a “dish” antenna on the ground, Kymeta’s satellite antennas remove the need for mechanical components by using software and liquid crystal technologies to electronically track and steer towards satellites. The lightweight, flat profile of the antenna also allows for seamless integration during vehicle assembly or easy aftermarket installation.
“For several years, Toyota met with emerging companies around the world to investigate new technologies,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, Senior Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation.  “We were very excited to learn about Kymeta, because their flat antennae technology could solve the challenge of vehicle-based satellite communications.”
Satellite communications offer several key benefits to meet automotive needs, including

  1. the distribution of huge amounts of data to a vehicle,
  2. broad coverage areas and the global deployment of connected vehicles that share common standards across national borders, and
  3. more stable and secure communications, particularly in emergencies such as natural disasters.

“We’re excited to be working with Toyota on this next generation of vehicle connectivity,” said Dr. Nathan Kundtz, CEO of Kymeta. “Kymeta is the first company to successfully demonstrate this type of technology, and we have over 8,000 miles of road testing with cars connected to satellites.”
Since September 2013, Toyota and Kymeta have been jointly researching flat antennae, embedded in the car, to support satellite distribution of huge amounts of data to a vehicle. With an exclusive right for development and testing of the on-car antenna, Toyota lent the company research vehicles for test driving. The Mirai displayed at NAIAS represents the progress of these efforts.
Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership, a fund where Toyota participates as an investor, provided an investment of $5 million (US) to Kymeta this month to enhance future technology research and development. Toyota expects acceleration of the joint research with Kymeta through the investment.
Toyota continues to work to accelerate connected car development and introduction including use of satellite communications, to offer customers ever-better car experience.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Toyota Financial Services Honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy with 2nd Annual Donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

$60,000 Contribution Will Help Further Boost College Retention and Graduation Rates, Seen as Key to Ensuring the Fulfillment of Dr. King’s Dream for America

In honor of the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is continuing its support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their communities, by providing $60,000 to five HBCUs as well as the Tom Joyner Foundation.
"We're really excited to work with our new partner Toyota Financial Services," said Thomas Joyner, Jr., President and CEO of the Foundation.  "The support of these scholarships is a really important step in helping these students complete their college education and, in the long run, help sustain these HBCUs."
Bennett College in North Carolina, Tuskegee University in Alabama, and South Carolina State University will each receive a $10,000 contribution to support their scholarship funds. Additionally, TFS is donating two $10,000 scholarships to Wiley College in Texas and North Carolina Central, through the Tom Joyner Foundation.  TFS is donating an extra $10,000 to support the Tom Joyner Foundation, as well.  The foundation provides academic support, scholarships, and programming to over 80 HBCUs in the Southern and Eastern United States.  The overall goal of these contributions is to support educational opportunities within many of the communities in which TFS operates.
“Education is truly the greatest equalizer and should be accessible to all. Toyota Financial Services’ donation to Historically Black Colleges and Universities is a much needed investment that will help support students attending our HBCUs,” said Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC), Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus. “As a former professor, administrator, and an alumnus of an HBCU, I’m always happy to see the philanthropic endeavors of a socially responsible company that shares my interests in scholarship, education, and helping underserved communities.”
“Toyota Financial Services is honored to echo the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr., by supporting these fine institutions and advocating higher education in these communities,” said Al Smith, TFS Group Vice President, Service Operations and Corporate Planning.  “TFS has a deeply held commitment to diversity and inclusion, not only now, but year round as seen with our nationalMaking Life Easier Scholarship Program and with our 10th anniversary of supporting the CBS Baltimore Black History Month Oratory Contest.”
According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, the college graduation rate for black students in the U.S stands at 42%, as opposed to 62% for their white counterpart.  It is also noted that the financial support of universities is key in black student retention, thereby producing high graduation rates.
"When speaking with each of the institution's officials, it's so inspirational to hear how this money impacts these HBCUs and the plans that they have for these scholarships,"  said John Ridgeway, TFS Corporate Manager of TFS’ Customer Service Center in Maryland. "HBCUs are challenged with lower student retention resulting from financial hardships. As a Toyota executive and an HBCU alumnus, I am proud that Toyota Financial Services is making a contribution to these HBCUs and the Tom Joyner Foundation to support their efforts.”
TFS has been named a DiversityInc Top 50 company for the past eight years in a row and has been consistently recognized by Black Enterprise, Hispanic Business, and the Human Rights Campaign as a Best Company for Diversity and one of the Best Places to Work.  TFS executives actively support and sponsor the company’s many diversity and inclusion initiatives. For more information about Toyota's commitment to diversity and inclusion, please

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Burien Toyota Cheers on the Seahawks

As one of the biggest supporters and sponsors of the Seahawks, Toyota, specifically all of us at Burien Toyota, is excited to cheer on the Seahawks this weekend as they take on the North Carolina Panthers for the NFC Championship.

The game takes place at 12:05pm on Sunday.

There are plenty of local activities coming up to help the 12s get in the spirit.

We hope you'll join all of us at Burien Toyota as we cheer for the Seahawks and celebrate their victory this weekend!
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