Interesting take by this author on the FR-S sales downward trend. http://blog.caranddriver.com/why-sc...the-life-and-times-of-an-ultra-niche-product/ Why Scion FR-S Sales Have Plunged: The Life and Times of an Ultra-Niche Product When Toyota announced it was going to sell a lightweight, rear-drive sports car—and that it was sending a version to the U.S. badged as a Scion—there was a swell of enthusiast, uh, enthusiasm. Anticipation for the car (and its Subaru-badged sibling, the BRZ) ran high, reaching a fever pitch when the car went on sale in the summer of 2012. Since then, however, interest has cooled and sales have taken a nosedive. And you can thank the very same people who were amped up for the coupe in the first place. Let’s take a look at the numbers, shall we? In 2012, Scion moved 11,417 FR-S models in just six full months of sales, and that number jumped to 18,327 for the full calendar-year 2013. Things took a turn last year, however, with sales falling by 23 percent to 14,062 units. (For comparison, here are the yearly totals for the Subaru BRZ: 4144 in 2012, 8087 in 2013, and 7504 in 2014.) The Scion’s best month to date was its first two full fortnights on sale, with 2684 sold in June 2012. Since then, sales followed a gentle seasonal up-down-up path familiar to sporty, rear-drive two-doors, with interest picking up in the summer months and waning in the winter. But in general, sales have declined. Last month, Scion sold just 834 examples against 1495 in December 2012 and 1029 in December 2013. Credit the same buyers who furiously fired off excited “My new FR-S!” posts in enthusiast forums back in 2012, credit the drift scene, credit the basic goodness of the FR-S. All of them essentially neutered sales because, well, most anyone who lusted after the car has already bought one. You can’t sell the same people the same new car year over year over year. Consider the target buyer satiated and the well to be running dry. Given this—as well as the fact that Toyota is developing a different, higher-margin sports car in partnership with BMW—and it’s not shocking that rumors persist that say the car might not see a second generation. 2015 Scion FR-S Now Scion’s relying on normal people to eat up the FR-S, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that anyone who isn’t familiar with the nuances of lift-throttle oversteer, precise steering, and an ultra-low center of gravity probably might prefer their affordable two-door jollies to take the form of a Honda Accord coupe or the refined new Ford Mustang. Don’t get us wrong, we love the FR-S, but the reasons for our affection are reasons an average car buyer might hate it. At just 2700–2800 pounds, the FR-S is commendably light, but part of its weight-saving regimen is a lower amount of sound-deadening materials that results in a distinct lack of daily-driver polish. The Subaru-designed 2.0-liter flat-four revs to a zingy 7500 rpm, but it’s as smooth as the top of a Lego at idle and sounds like a hive of bees after a burrito binge when you’re on throttle. And the suspension we’d describe as buttoned-down and athletic would simply be called “harsh” by those who think Ken Gushi is some kind of take-out menu appetizer. In a nutshell, the FR-S is a niche vehicle, and its sliding sales numbers seem to indicate that Scion might just be finding the limits of that niche. We’re endlessly happy that Toyota nutted up and built the thing—even as it had to know this slide was possible, if not inevitable—because an affordable yet highly focused, no-compromise machine for just driving is a wonderful thing, and few companies make cars like that anymore. Of course, don’t feel too bad for Toyota in this thing, as it has been able to share costs with Subaru, who engineered the chassis and assembles all versions of the car. (Toyota was largely responsible for styling and also lent the project its D4-S port and direct fuel-injection technology.) And there’s even a silver lining for us enthusiasts: FR-S interest may have peaked the day it went on sale, but with more than 43,000 of them on American roads so far (not including BRZs), cheap track cars are just around the corner. Start saving now for a few sets of R-comps and a cage.