Toyota Exec Says Disappointing FR-S Sales May Kill Plans for New Models

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The Scion FR-S and Toyota FT-86 have lagged behind sales predictions and new models could be in jeopardy. The Scion FR-S was an ambitious move on Toyota’s part, giving the company its first sports car since the Supra was discontinued, but now sales are slipping and the company says new models like the 2.5 liter FR-SFR-S convertible, and 4-door Scion FR-S Sedan may be in danger.

Auto Express spoke to Toyota Vice President for European R&D Gerald Killmann who said that the FR-S’ sales are too slow for the company to justify new models.

“A faster version of that car would be at the top of most people’s wish lists, but like the cabriolet, it is hard to justify a business case to push either model into production based on the current sales,” Killmann said.

What Toyota needs to realize is that with the FR-S, they aren’t selling a Corolla that people will buy year after year no matter what. They have a sports car that is both a novelty and a status symbol. When the novelty of a sport car wears off and its power as a status symbol is diluted by identical models available used, it needs to refreshed and upgraded. Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Jaguar all sell the same sports cars for several years but all understand that after the initial release, buyers need a new incentive to buy a new car. Special editions like the FR-S Monogram, convertibles and more powerful models all renew the market’s interest in sports cars once the initial desire wears down.

So will Toyota follow the lead of the companies that have made their careers selling sports cars and make the next few years of the FR-S exciting with more options and models? Or will the most boring car company in the world cut and run on its sports car experiment and go back to churning out beige Camrys for the buffet crowd?

7 thoughts on “Toyota Exec Says Disappointing FR-S Sales May Kill Plans for New Models

  1. If Toyota doesn’t jusmp at the markets want aka a NEW SUPRA or 2.5 FRS then it will be a shame. The tuner market is coming back strong and will continue to escalate throughout the next few years and if i had to put down 10k cash to get put on the Supra Pre-Order i would write a check yesterday. Come on yes the BRZ is offf the same line but hell Toyota GT86 not a Scion would change the market get rid of the Scion logo strap on a toyota 86 and a nicer options menu and bag sale go up!

    1. Jason, thanks for the input. What would you rather see from the Supra? an $80,000 high tech super fast GT-R killer or a $35-$40k 400-hp car that would outrun and outhandle the American muscle cars out now?

  2. It’s easy, drop the scion badge, toyota 86 only worldwide, quit trying to save the scion badge, strip it down to the basics put in the 2.5 engine, if people want all the heavy overpriced luxeries they can buy the brz, the frs should be the tuner dream car, think of it as a new 90’s car basic and easy to work on, seat heaters and twenty airbags isnt what the people buying this car want, they will go to the brz, without all the luxeries, and a 2.5 engine this car should gor for less than current price, if you put a fancy stereo in its only going out, toyota cannot compete against aftermarket companies, but it can provide a base competitive car that everyone will want to customize at a lower price, to say that this isnt what we wanted as a company, for people to put turbos and bigger wheels is stupid, this car should be striped down to basics, one in auto & one manual, red black blue white and charcoal no additional options

    1. And one more thing, as for spicing things up, how about you have the aftermarket companies compete yearly for best car, then the following year put out a factory modded car with no campany being allowed to win two years in a row, what i am saying is a limited edition 1000 made hks cars one year and like a greddy the next, people that have the money would be all over that plus it would put toyota in a completely different light, the after market companies would go crazy and toyota would be getting free R&D the prices on parts would drop more companies would be competing

      1. And if toyota doesnt think it would work then they seriously need to learn history, prime example, the VW Bug, porsche didnt even want to make it, and now VW owns Porsche, very little changed for nearly 40 years, few upgrades, cheap, easy to maintain, aftermarket is where you get spare parts, if they build it for $20-25k it can be the best seller in the world and it would still get 28-35 mpg, i am sorry i just happened across this blog drunk and had to state what needs to be said

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