Toyota GT86, Scion FR-S sales disappointing worldwide?Fri, 21 Feb 2014 14:00:00 EST
Okay, folks – it appears we've got a problem. The Toyota GT86, Europe's counterpart to our own beloved Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S coupes, is apparently not selling too well. This, according to Toyota's European Vice President of Research and Development, Gerald Killman, is what's limiting plans for additional variants of the rear-drive coupe.
"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," Killman told AutoExpress. "Personally, I think that engine could use a little bit more," he added.
More troubling is that slow sales aren't limited to the Euro-spec car, with Killman claiming that the GT86 have been missing sales targets in major markets around the globe. It may not be that the US is one of those major markets, though. Scion's Vice President, Doug Murtha, tells Autoblog that his brand is happy with the sales of its version of the GT86, the FR-S. 18,000 units were sold last year, which Murtha says is "generally in line with original expectations for the car."
"We can only comment on the sales success of the FR-S and not its variants in other markets, in the US, Scion deems the FR-S successful. Considering the FR-S sales performance and the sports car's brand impact, the FR-S is fulfilling its mission for the Scion brand," he went on to say. "Given its success in the US, Scion continues to study ways to enhance and improve the FR-S' appeal in the market as this sports car's lifecycle matures."
We contacted Subaru for comment, and found them to be of a similar opinion: "We're happy with our sales of the BRZ," said Subaru spokesman Dominick Infante, who also pointed that the 8,587 units Subaru moved in the BRZ's first year on sale were "in line with expectations," while January's year-over-year sales were up 27 percent.
Even if Scion and Subaru are happy with current sales of their highly acclaimed sports coupes, it sounds officials are stopping short of being blown away by the numbers they are generating. If Killman is right about the models' global sales picture, then we wouldn't be surprised if sports car fans don't get the high-power or convertible versions they've been craving.
By Brandon Turkus
See also: Subaru offers glimpse of Viziv 2 Geneva concept, Toyota Aygo, Citro?n C1 to join Peugeot 108 in Geneva, Toyota renews Supra trademark, we renew frothing at the mouth.