FOLLOWING THE lack of manufacturer interest in 2009, largely a response to the global financial crisis, the Japan Automotive Manufacturers' Association has announced it will move the biennial Tokyo Motor Show to a smaller venue and a new date in 2011.
Last year's show saw most of the international brands take a pass, including GM, Chrysler, Ford, Volkswagen and Volvo, as well as prestige brands Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The number of brands represented fell from 35 in 2007, to a mere 11 at last year's event.
Moving from the Makuhari Messe venue to the smaller Tokyo Big Sight, the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show will also be pushed from October to early December.
Aside from the financial climate of 2009, another matter working against the Tokyo Motor Show for foreign carmakers is the dominant position that domestic brands hold in the Japanese market, making the expense of a display a less-than-appealing prospect for many.