Tokyo slims down 2011 motor show

The organizers of the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, to start in November 2011, have reduced its scale and duration, a firm indication of the event's fading importance and appeal to foreign car manufacturers.

Held every two years, the 2009 show witnessed a 56.9 percent drop in the number of visitors from the previous event. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers' Association said a mere 614,400 people attended because the global financial crisis deterred many foreign car companies from taking part.

Held in October at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex, to the east of Tokyo, just 108 auto and auto parts companies took part in the 13-day event, the fewest since it was first staged in 1954.

Among those that skipped the event were auto giants General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co., Daimler AG and South Korea's Hyundai.

The association has now announced that the 2011 show will be held for 10 days from late November 2011 at the Tokyo Big Sight convention centre, a far smaller venue.

"We asked may people in the industry about last year's event and they told us that we needed to find a venue much closer to central Tokyo to make it more convenient," Kazusa Yoshino, a spokeswoman for the JAMA, told Relaxnews.

"We also decided to make it a little shorter to reduce costs and make it easier for foreign automakers to attend," she added.

The association says the move to Tokyo Big Sight will enable the event to be "reborn" and that the 2011 show will be "comprehensive" and include passenger cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle bodies, parts, machinery and tools.

In a statement, the organizers said, "With the participation of major brands from Japan and abroad, this international motor show will serve as a hub to send out information about the latest next-generation safety and environment technologies from the automobile industry.

"At the same time, it will offer visitors the opportunity to rediscover the appeal, joy, and fun of cars and motorcycles by viewing, touching and riding the actual latest models."

There is little escaping the conclusion that the show has passed its heyday - a remarkable 2,018,500 people attended the 1991 event - and that Auto China, which alternates between Beijing and Shanghai, has become the industry's favorite showcase in Asia.


Press days: November 30, 2011 to December 1, 2011

Show days: December 2, 2011 to December 11, 2011

Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo.


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