Toyota will handle Scion PR in-house

TORRANCE, CA: Toyota will handle PR for its new Scion brand mainly with in-house staff, doling out some project work to Golin/Harris International.

TORRANCE, CA: Toyota will handle PR for its new Scion brand mainly with in-house staff, doling out some project work to Golin/Harris International.

Toyota plans to unveil the new brand, aimed at younger buyers, during the New York Auto Show on March 27.

"We'll have a press conference at the New York Auto Show to debut the name and some concept vehicles,

said Mike Michels, national manager of external communications for Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Golin has been doing project work for Toyota, so it will likely get some Scion work too, Michels said.

Scions will be sold at Toyota showrooms rather than at separate dealers (like Toyota's Lexus brand), so PR is being handled by existing product communications staff. No new separate PR group is planned.

The Scion will be positioned as "younger, edgier, trend-setting," Michels said. But Toyota will also continue marketing entry-level vehicles under the Toyota name, so PR will need to carve out a distinctive niche for Scion products.

Michels said a final determination hasn't been made regarding when Scions will be available in the US. The New York show is the last major auto event in the US this year, so it's doubtful Toyota will unveil new models prior to major shows in LA and Detroit at the start of 2003.

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