• Jan 14, 2009
Word that Detroit automakers are pulling out of this year's Tokyo Motor Show may strike some as retribution for Japanese automakers' very public failure to show at this year's North American International Auto Show. After all, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki all pulled out of the Detroit show, right? In reality, the true answer is less conspiratorial and more financial in nature. Exhibiting at a major show requires a seven-figure outlay (General Motors reportedly spent $2 million for their presence at the 2007 Tokyo show), and none of the Detroit 3 have what could be called a major presence in the Japanese market.
No matter the reason, GM and Chrysler are now confirming that they have pulled out of October's Tokyo Motor Show, and word is that Ford didn't meet last year's sign-up deadline, so they probably won't be in attendance, either. Given the high cost associated with building and staffing an international auto show stand - not to mention diminishing crowds and increased exposure through other forms of media (*ahem*) - this sort of story is likely to become more and more common until industry and the wider economy sorts itself out. In fact, if recent reports are accurate, the entire Tokyo Motor Show is itself in doubt.

[Source: Automotive News- sub. req'd.]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Japanese aren't buying ANY cars right now (well NO one is really, but their sales have dropped off moreso) so if they did I really doubt they'd be buying American cars...
        • 6 Years Ago
        The D3 are squeezed out of Japan. Americans arent capable of making profits in japan. Through weak unions and various levels of corruption and buddy/buddy deals, auto workers in japan make surprisingly little. Which is why even with the second highest GDP per capita, they are still able to ship autos from japan to the US and still make a profit. Large corporations set up housing complexes that house the employees and provide them with amenities, yr end bonuses are very large compared to salaries (5-7months worth) and base salaries are low. 2 years ago, honda japan unions were fighting for an additional 20-50usd / month.

        I think if americans were allowed to purchase larger stakes in japan, the US would've easily dominated japanese auto but laws were set up so no firm can be owned by a foreign body by more than 25%. (mazda being an exception) And then on top of that, past attempts for americans to break into this market had failed (dont know why).

        It's funny that japanese unions were demanding higher salaries. It's because the japanese were doing extremely well in the states this decade and despite us producing japanese vehicles, we dont produce as many as people think. Just cause we sell 4million japanese autos here doesnt mean we produce that many. Based on worker capacity, I'd say we build between 30-50% depending on how much more efficient their plants are. Well ultimately, I think the japanese union requests could've been more aggressive. On the other hand, when american autos were making huge profits from 90's till early 00's we caved into union demands. GM lost 2billion resisting UAW in a 1-2month stand off. Well, obviously that huge cash reserve the US autos were holding onto has a purpose. It's to outlast bad economies such as now - instead of borrowing. The UAW had so much leverage on their side, they couldnt even spread it amongst each other and had to setup job banks for those who werent working. Think about that in 5-10yrs when UAW cries again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @snp,

        "And then on top of that, past attempts for americans to break into this market had failed (dont know why)....I think if americans were allowed to purchase larger stakes in japan, the US would've easily dominated japanese auto..."

        Not really. Even without those laws. Many of the Japanese automakers, with the exception of Honda, I think, are business conglomerates, especially Toyota. Toyota is quite possibly the most corrupt company in the world because they care more about the dollar/yen than integrity. Toyota has gotten away and will continue to get away with the things they do. They have lots of lawyers and ties to the Japanese government to make it go away. The Japanese government has owned pieces of Toyota and had members on its board for a long time. Why split those profits with a foreigner (the Americans)? If you can't control something or profit from it (the Americans), why bother letting it into your country? Everything the Japanese government has done up to this point, with taxing vehicles, limiting competition, etc, is coming back to bite them in the ass. They could control the companies that build the vehicles, but what they didn't realize was, they couldn't control the people.

        You don't hear about it because this is, of course, not Japan, but I was speaking to a few friends at the Auto Salon this past weekend and it's apparently pretty common knowledge there.

        Ford originally had a chance to purchase stake in Honda and chose not to. Definitely short-sighted.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bukkake? You're talking about udon, right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      They won't be missed. The only American cars that get oohs and aahs around here are classic muscle cars. The only "American" cars I see here are rebadged Suzukis.
      • 6 Years Ago
      haha Basically, The Big 3 are saying: ITS ON NOW
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its WWII all over again.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why should they participate?

      It just creates the illusion that the D3 (and other foreign manufacturers) have reasonable access to the Japanese market.
      • 6 Years Ago


      So they have a law on foreign ownership, but made an exception for Mazda??
      Did they also make an exception for Nissan which is 44% owned by the French?
      At some point in time, virtually every Japanese automaker (with the exception of Honda and Toyota) were partially owned by foreign companies. Isuzu, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and of course Mazda and Nissan.
      So much for the "they can't own us" law.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why were they in it in the first place. Japan is very patriotic towards their auto companies....unlike here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      it is kind of crazy to think that the country that produces more cars than almost any other nation will not have a car show.

      then again, i do remember reading that a large portion of Japan's driving age youth are not at all concerned with driving or owning a car. they would rather have all sorts of tech goodies, anime, and bukkake.
        • 6 Years Ago
        LOL @ Alex

        But they aren't the world #1 car-producer though. I saw a list recently and I don't remember exactly...but it's not Japan. What surprised me was how up on that list Canada was! Like 4th I think.
        • 6 Years Ago
        rofl @ Will "I have something in my eye"

        hahahahaaaaaaaa
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry to link Wikipedia but according the that site, Alex is correct, it is Japan. Canada is 8th. And, I can vouch for the fact that Canada does not have enough bukkake.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry
        • 6 Years Ago
        What I love is that Ford is smaller than Honda if you remove the commercial vehicles
        • 6 Years Ago
        lol @ Bukkake
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, what ya gotta understand about Japanese youth is...

        Wait a minute...

        Do you know what bukkake is? Because I don't think it means what you think it means.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry, I can't count, I've something in my eye. Canada is 9th.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would like to nominate Alex for comment of the year 2009. I know Autoblog doesn't love us pions enough to do a comment of the year but it is probably time they started with that classic. I almost dropped my new laptop laughing.
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