Market Snapshot


Scion, the hip, affordable youth-focused Toyota offshoot that has made accessorization a large part of its success, offers customers a faster way to the car of their dreams.

Putting a twist on the built-to-order car, the automaker can now deliver a special order in days (or a few weeks for those in the Heartland), rather than months were it assembled in Japan, according to Automotive News.

The automaker maintains small installation centers at major ports in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Oregon, the Gulf Coast and Southeast where technicians install a customer’s desired parts and accessories, everything from spoilers and cold-air intakes to wheels and lowering springs. 

Customers personalize their Scion online, which is delivered to a local dealer after it's customized at the port.

Increasing numbers of new-car dealers integrate high-margin specialty-equipment parts and accessories into their showrooms, offering consumers unprecedented customization options. SEMA research shows that 10% of all specialty-equipment sales occur at dealerships.

Automakers have also realized the profit potential of accessorizing new models with wheels, body kits and side steps. Scion is widely credited with refining to a near art the practice of offering consumers specialty-equipment choices.

For now, Scion’s "parts at the port" program is limited to Toyota Racing Development and Scion-branded parts and accessories, according to Scion spokeswoman Allison Takahashi, with a few notable exceptions including taillights branded by TYC.

Specialty-equipment companies that make parts for Scion models can, however, join the automaker’s accessories plan through the Optimize program, a dealer-channeled sales program. For more information on how to get involved with Scion's accessories program, contact Korey Tsuno at

Source: "Online Assembly Line Allows Built-to-Order Scions, Delivered Fast," Mark Rechtin, Automotive News, 2/4/08