At the media test drive launch of the new 2013 Scion FR-S we got the opportunity to sit down for breakfast with Jack Hollis, the head chief of all that is Scion.
In the conversation over bacon, eggs and coffee we gleaned some of what Scion has in mind with the new FR-S, as well as some of the other products in the showroom.
Sciclonic: Do you see the new FR-S bringing a whole new buying demographic into the showroom?
Jack Hollis: Yes. We are seeing already from the First 86 program that the average buyer is slightly older and more affluent than for some of our models. Our average buyer age for the FR-S so far is 34. And because the price is higher than our other cars, they make a little more money.
Sciclonic: Given that do you see the FR-S as a car that will take the Scion brand in a new direction, away from the “youth brand” that was started in 2004?
Jack Hollis: We just had a large meeting with dealers yesterday here. That same question came up. The Scion brand still operates on four of the five same brand missions. The most important one is that we always create products that will bring new people to the brand. Also, the average buyer age of 34 for the FR-S is right in the middle of our total brand average age for Scion. So our buyers are still the youngest in the business.
Sciclonic: Do you drive an FR-S?
Jack Hollis: Yes. I have a black one with a number of TRD accessories on it, suspension, exhaust. It’s got a slick Five Axis lower body kit and wing. It also has some special wheels on it. If you look you see there are different wheels on the left side than on the right. Take a look at it and let me know which are your favorites.
Sciclonic: How do you plan to grab buyers from the Subaru BRZ which is essentially the same car?
Jack Hollis: Well first of all we have about 1000 dealerships, almost twice the dealerships as Subaru. Secondly our car has the Scion monospec program with a la carte accessories, and no haggle pricing that has made us very popular. Subaru is doing two trim grades with different packages. I believe in the monospec system and think its a better way.
Sciclonic: Will there be a turbo FR-S coming soon?
Jack Hollis: No. Nothing like that is even being talked about for either the FR-S or the Subaru BRZ. The engine compartment is packed so tight that for us to do a factory turbo system would be nearly impossible. I’m not closing the door on it, but its just not being discussed right now.
Sciclonic: We heard that earlier this week you were asked if direct replacements were coming for the Scion xB and xD, and that you said no. Are these cars not going to continue in the Scion brand?
Jack Hollis: That’s right. I didn’t say they are dead tomorrow though. We just aren’t working on a new xB or a new xD. What may happen is that you will see a new product or products take their place in the future with a new name or a new purpose. I can’t say what that is just yet, but Scion will continue to bring new buyers to our brand.