The Party’s Over — Toyota Pulls The Plug on Scion

The announcement that Toyota would phase out its Scion youth brand after this year shows how quickly the automotive market is changing.

Just six months ago Scion was doing its biggest media campaign ever for its newest iA Sport and iM Hatchback, under $20,000 offerings.

And while Scion execs acknowledged that it’s target market had changed from the freewheeling funky crowd that made the rolling Scion xB cube an icon in the new century’s youth culture, there was little indication that the brand would flame out so quickly.

Again, the significance of this sudden swan song for Scion is really more what it portends for the whole auto industry.

For decades change and progress in the automotive business was glacially slow, one reason for its near collapse in 2009.

Today technology and the star quality of disruptive mavericks like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, promise fast and radical change.

And in the car marketplace, with advancing self-driving technology, ride-sharing platforms and more practical electric vehicles, by 2020 the entire auto industry will need to reset for a new future where private ownership of vehicles will be a quaint anachronism.