2014 Scion iQ
Scion's slow-selling iQ minicar might not be long for this world, and the news has come from an unusual source.
Aston Martin chief Ulrich Bez has revealed to Autocar that the Cygnet was canned because Toyota itself is stopping production of the iQ--sold in most markets under the Toyota brand, but badged Scion in the U.S.
The Cygnet has only been around for two years and was sold exclusively in the UK. It's believed that little more than 140 units were produced, but while slow sales are undoubtedly a contributor to its short run, Bez says several other factors kept it from being the car it could have been.
Plans for a U.S. introduction were scrapped because there "was no support for it", while a supercharged engine--to increase the 1.3-liter's performance--was also nixed due to lack of support. That support should have come from Toyota, and while Bez describes his relationship with Toyota boss Akido Toyoda as "great", he feels the company didn't provide the sort of backup to Aston Martin it does with companies like Tesla Motors, with whom the RAV4 EV was developed.
Even so, he says the Cygnet was a great little car, and that it'll become "a cult car in the future".
Toyota, meanwhile, denies that iQ production is ending in 2014--though this date does coincide with the typical six-year model cycle of a new car, having launched in 2008.
Sales have been slow both in the U.S. and worldwire. 21,302 units were shifted globally in 2012 (via Best Selling Cars Blog)--just one fifth those of its closest rival, the Smart Fortwo. U.S. sales echoed the market's apathy for small, two-seater city cars, with 8,879 Scion iQs sold in 2012.
If you do still want an iQ though, now could be the time to buy--as it might not be on the market for much longer.