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Monday, October 20, 2014

Will the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Survive?



With a new joint Toyota-BMW sportscar all but confirmed to be in the works, Toyota has truly begun to spin its image from the humbling late ‘00s Prius back to the ’80s and ‘90s Celica and Supra. A good thing indeed.

But lest we forget the proponent of that about-face turn – the current Toyota GT86, Scion FR-S, and Subaru BRZ siblings. Having enjoyed rave reviews, strong global sales and positive fan reception, the rear-drive sportsters look like obvious keepers. But will Toyota keep them around?


Apparently, yes.
Reports indicate that the Toyota and Scion two-door coupes, which came to market in 2012, are indeed part of Toyota’s plans going further. And for the time being, Subaru will remain part of that equation.

According to Australia’s Motoring, Toyota of Europe’s executive vice president Karl Schlicht noted in an interview that the business aspect for the sporty rear-drive coupes is not as strong as other vehicles in the company’s lineup, but that Toyota and Subaru will continue to partner on the cars for the time being.


“We are pretty serious about keeping the GT86 pure and keeping a car like that in our lineup. Because in the past we dropped cars like the Celicas and fun cars, and we don’t want to lose that again,” said Schlicht.

By the close of September in the US, Scion has moved 11,182 FR-S coupes (down 24 percent from last year) while Subaru has sold 6,245 BRZ models (down 2 percent on 2013 figures). Granted, Scion is allocated more models in this market, just as Toyota does for the 86 down under.


“The market’s not huge around the world for those kind of cars and they also have a bit of a life cycle. So as a business it’s tougher to justify.”

Though Schlicht later confirmed a second-generation Toyota 86 coupe is planned. “It’s down the road.”