Speculative Rendering by Mark Stehrenberger Design, 2007, for PickupTrucks.com
Scion is still interested in building a compact pickup truck, according to a report in Ward’s Auto.
In 2007, we first wrote about Scion's plans to offer a small truck as part of Toyota's youth-oriented lineup. We called it the xP -- get it?
But our sources later told us that the Scion runabout was scuttled by Jim Farley, who was Toyota's group vice president of marketing and the vice president of Scion before leaving to become Ford's group vice president of global marketing. Farley didn't think a small truck had a place in the Scion lineup, so the Scion truck became the Toyota A-BAT concept that was shown at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. A-BAT designer Matt Sperling even participated in an online discussion at GM Inside News about how the A-BAT did indeed start out as a compact pickup concept for Scion.
Toyota shelved plans to build the A-BAT, but the idea still lives on at Scion and appears increasingly likely. Like us, Scion seems to believe there is an overlooked need for a truly compact pickup truck now that midsize trucks have been bloated, overpriced and out of touch with small-truck buyers’ needs.
Perhaps Kia's recent Soul'ster trucklet concept has gotten Scion's attention as the Koreans attempt to go after Toyota's traditional turf and new segments.
Trucks are “not off the table,” Scion General Manager Jack Hollis said in an interview with Ward's at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “Toyota has such a strong heritage of doing a very good job with youth and with trucks, when you look at (the Toyota) Tacoma – I’m not trying to be too cocky, but we pretty much have owned that segment for a long time. We have to find a niche. I think there is room for it.”
You go, Jack. We're with you.
Toyota A-BAT Concept Sketch