World’s automakers shun Tokyo Motor Show, but event will go on

2009 Tokyo Motor Show logo

2009 Tokyo Motor Show logo

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The Japan Automobile Manufacturers' Association (JAMA) has decided not to cancel this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, despite most of the world’s automakers pulling out of the event. Skipping the show this year will be the Detroit 3, as well as automakers from Germany, France, Sweden, and China – basically any major automaker outside of Japan.

The situation has become so bad that it’s estimated this year’s show will only see half the number of exhibitors as the last event back in 2007. This year's show also will be four days shorter and have about half the floor space, JAMA has confirmed.

"Companies are reacting to the current economic environment," JAMA Chairman Satoshi Aoki told a news conference today. "This is a once-in-a-hundred-years crisis."

Joining the Detroit 3 in the exodus are Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Renault, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover. Staying on will be Porsche, Ferrari, Lotus, Maserati and Hyundai, reports Automotive News.

It can cost millions of dollars to exhibit, and even some Japanese companies have requested that the show be canceled. Just today, reports have emerged claiming Japan’s new car sales are reaching 32 year lows.

Despite its importance, January’s Detroit Auto Show also saw a number of major carmakers pull out, including the likes of Nissan, Suzuki, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Mitsubishi, and Land Rover, and it appears that the same has happened to the Tokyo event. Furthermore, with last week’s announcement that the 2010 British Motor Show has been canceled, the outlook for some of the smaller international motor shows isn’t looking very bright.

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