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Since driving onto the scene in California in 2003 and nationally in June 2004, Scion continues to enjoy rising sales this year in an unforgiving industry climate. Consider: Toyota Motor Sales USA says it sold 118,873 Scions through September compared with 86,900 units the same period a year ago. In 2004, Toyota sold 99,259 Scions-and its goal was 75,000 units.

The Toyota Division sub-brand has tried to be a sort of anti-marketer and allow its audience to "discover" Scion.

Dawn Ahmed, 37, is at the center of the action and is among the first handful of staffers at Scion. Manager of national sales and promotions since June when she moved from national advertising manager, Ms. Ahmed oversees the nearly 100 events staged monthly. She says she and her team wanted to target "a community of communities" in the model year that just ended covering music, fashion, art and tuners-who spend hundreds and thousands of dollars customizing their rides.

Scion's 2005-model marketing plan was an evolution. "For the most part we kept a lot of things and we just kept adding on," says the Los Angeles native. She tweaked Scion's free music CD compilations of hip-hop artists by adding independent artists. She admits it's harder to measure things like brand awareness for events than for traditional ads, but her team makes quick decisions and interacts well with Scion's ad-side team.

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