• Dec 26, 2008
Honda and Toyota may not be joining their colleagues at Nissan, Mitsubishi and Suzuki in canceling their participation in this year's Detroit Auto Show, but they still won't be laying on the glitz and glamor that have become the mainstay of past events.

For starters, both Honda's and Toyota's CEOs won't be attending, even though the market is vital to their success. Beyond that, neither will be holding press conferences to unveil their new hybrids, simply placing the vehicles on their show stands and waiting for questions. No parties, either, as they acknowledge the economic state of the industry leaves little to celebrate this year. The automakers didn't give any specific reasons for their decision to scale things back, but sources suggest that the move was made out of deference to the difficulties faced by their rivals in Detroit.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Junko Kimura/Getty]



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  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      North American International Auto Show!

      Much as Los Angeles and Chicago would have you believe, we're still the premier showing in North America and you would do well it call it by it's proper name.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hear, hear, elprogamer. See you at the show!
      • 6 Years Ago
      There are 6000 reporters at the NAIAS, Watanabe-san didn't want to be deluged with questions about Toyota losing money for the first time in 70 years.

      Also, I find it hard to believe Toyota, which is introducing the next gen Prius won't be having some kind of press event.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Out of deference to the difficulties faced by their rivals in Detroit."

      There's probably a good deal of truth to that. The Japanese are polite to a fault, as respect is ingrained into their culture. It's nice to see it show even in the cut-throat world of business.

      That's not to disagree with what others have been saying about expenditures and the bottom line, but it's not just that. After all Honda and Toyota both know very well that they didn't invent the automobile and they didn't create the auto industry. Detroit is where it all started and even as fierce rivals, they dare not spit in the faces of the Big 3 for without them, there would have been no industry.

      I sure hope they all make it out of this as leaner machines so they can all get back to competing for our dollars with better products and newer technologies at full-throttle, inevitably improving the breed for automobiles, cuz when I get a real job, I want a flying car, dammit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is how everybody should do it every year.

      In this day and age of the internet, a press release with pictures posted on Autoblog does a hell of lot more in distributing the product to the mindset of the public then throwing a million dollar party. The money that can be used to put on fancy shows and fly CEOs in can instead by used for traditional advertising that can get the word out on the product better.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think we're all kidding ourselves if we think that anyone is going to spend even close to what they usually do on any auto shows next year. I just don't see the larger companies pulling out of any shows.

      NAIS, Chicago, NY, and LA all are huge shows with huge attendance and press coverage. The displays are used for each show, and in fact, some of them are carried over year to year as it is. I think the parties and other extravegances will be gone for all companies in '09 but they're not all going to pull out of the shows like some of the smaller companies have.

      Not having the CEOs in attendance really means next to nothing. They aren't needed and I wouldn't expect the foreigners to fly over for any of the American shows any more than I see the domestic CEOs flying to Europe or Australia for theirs next year.
      • 6 Years Ago

      They are starting to see the red ink and it's scaring them. It's been a long time since their bottom lines have been printed in red.

      I don't think you will "lavish" anything this year. Ford is probably one of only a few that are unveiling a "new" vehicle, that is if the '10 Taurus and Lincoln MKT are debuted.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I disagree that there won't be many new vehicle introductions- many companies will debut new vehicles. With the economic downturn companies will slow development of future vehicles, but the cars that debut in Detroit had much of their development completed months ago.

        That said, I agree no new glamorous vehicles will debut in Detroit.. Partially because of the economy, but mostly because New York and Chicago are the venues of choice for most luxury debuts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GOD I HATE THESE TIMES....everything is just effed up....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Interesting, how come Autoblog does not cover the post Watanabe saga. He will step down in March and there are 3 or 4 candidates to replace him.

      All of them have brain cells, unlike some CEOs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just another reminder to us how full of excess some american companies can be when compared to their asian counterparts. I think the frugality shown here should be mimicked by every company receiving tax payer dollars, auto and banking.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's nothing "evil" about having the shows. It is these shows which will help spark the consumerism which will sell the vehicles which will save the corporations which keeps people employed which gives people money to spend which will turn the economy around...
        • 6 Years Ago
        All 3 US auto execs are probably flying back from christmas in Bermuda for this so don't kid yourself.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think they just wanna not be there for the cameras who will be doing news segments about how evil car-companies are still having car shows in such an economy.

        "Coming up at 11, see how General Motors and Ford are having lavish shows while even Toyota and Honda have made a decision to refocus their efforts on cutting back and saving!"

        Nobody tops the Japanese when it comes to image management.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So Wagoner shouldn't walk the two blocks from the Ren Cen to Cobo, and Nardelli and Mullaly shouldn't take the 20 minute and 8 minute, respectively, drive from their HQs because the Japanese aren't flying from Japan?

        In what world are you making any sense?
      • 6 Years Ago
      So, only Mazda will be at the DAS? I hope its the new Mazda3 hatch/speed
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