An American auto show wouldn't be the same without the participation of Japanese automakers. But the inverse could hardly be said, as all three of Detroit's automakers are set to be no-shows at the Tokyo Motor Show once again.

News of General Motors and Chrysler passing on the semi-annual Japanese auto expo came back in February, with word of Ford's plan to pass just now being released. It will be the second time that the Big Three are staying back in Detroit, after having sat out the last show in 2009. Tokyo Motor Show organizers tried to attract more exhibitors by changing its venue and timeframe – a necessary move, as Tokyo is quickly losing ground to the auto shows in Shanghai and Beijing.

A slew of European automakers are set to be on hand in Tokyo, as the list of exhibitors has been released to include Volkswagen and several of its brands, as well as Daimler and BMW, along with Saab, Renault, Citroën, Peugeot, Jaguar and Land Rover. However, like its American counterpart, Fiat and its brand portfolio are notably absent from the list.

[Source: Tokyo Motor Show via Automotive News - sub. req.]


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  • 45 Comments
      billfrombuckhead
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wonder if Hyundai will be there since they withdrew from the Japanese market because Japanese just wouldn't buy their cars.
      miketim1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not like the Japanese care driving Chrysler and Chevy's anyway. . . .
      Mark
      • 3 Years Ago
      Appropriate. I visited Tokyo last Fall, I didn't see even 5 American cars in my 10 days there. I don't care for American cars, but endorse their decision not to participate.
      Sportbike
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love UAW propaganda! It's amusing.
        Renaurd
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sportbike
        You don't know what the hell you are talking about.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its not like they will be missed. Detroit should focus on their home market, as well as expanding as much as possible in China. Japan is an extremely wealthy, top-tier market, but the JDM is essentially closed to foreign makes. No reason to waste money going.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        [blocked]
          hmmwv
          • 3 Years Ago
          Interesting participants, when I was in Tokyo I've never seen any French or Swedish cars on the street.
          Alexandro Velardi
          • 3 Years Ago
          well, make a 0,6 turbo for just one market is quite troublesome...nontheless with the tax for imported car, and difficult to make some share..
          Renaurd
          • 3 Years Ago
          Bullshit on you, the information is out there smartass look it up for yourself, or do you know how to do anything other than act like an *******.
          Frankie Rose
          • 3 Years Ago
          Imagine that, a Fiesta or Ka thats too big for JDM.... The top 30 cars sold in Japan are all Japanese. There is no way you can make me believe the game is not rigged. Imports only make up 5.8% of the JDM, and I'm saying if the U.S. or the E.U. limited the total market to the same percentage, you'd never see a japanese product anywhere. So I'm calling bullshit here.
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Sukairain
          • 3 Years Ago
          The Big Three have a hard time competing with Japanese brands in the US despite the tariff and continuing negative publicity against the Japanese. I don't see how US cars can be competitive in Japan, still.... how much could it cost to attend a motor show? Ultimate failure is the failure to even try.
          Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          the Japanese car market isn't all 600cc kei-cars, you know. B- and C- segment cars like the Focus, Fiesta, Cruze are perfectly acceptable in the JDM. "nothing small enough." ROFL.
          Sportbike
          • 3 Years Ago
          I guess these foreign makes going to Toyoko get a free pass into Japan. Only America gets punished. /end sarcasm. "Volkswagen and several of its brands, as well as Daimler and BMW, along with Saab, Renault, Citro├źn, Peugeot, Jaguar and Land Rover are going to Toyoko"
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Julius
          • 3 Years Ago
          Just a thought - Japan isn't formally "closed" to foreign makes, but then again Japanese domestics make up ~93% of the market. And though they don't necessarily impose high tariffs on foreign companies, most dealerships are built/supplied by local contracts. http://www.jada.or.jp/contents/data/type/hanbai/201012.php Oh, and the Japanese are highly resistant to imports in general, even if they're cheaper... which even includes things as rice and beef.
          Swordman
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Frankie Rose: Calm down dear. BTW. I can only assume the person in your avatar is your spouse, because, frankly, Frankie is a girl's name and Rose as a surname just doesn't help matters.
          Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          none, if that's the case, why do they still offer the JDM Accord and Legend? And they even sell the US Accord in Japan as the Inspire! http://www.honda.co.jp/auto/ There's a whole bunch of stuff there that is bigger than the Civic. They may well have stopped selling the Civic, but unlikely because of the reason you claim.
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        The only way it is closed to foriegn makes is that many foriegn makes do not meet Japanese environmental and safety standards. However, as those standards are overall stricter than other countries, Japanese cars exceed many of the standards in other countries and can sell there with relatively minor modifications (i.e. US bumpers, swapping the steering wheel position). In addition, most US-made cars are too large and thirsty, and thus irrelevant to the Japanese market, whereas some Japanese-market cars are relevant to the US market.
          Julius
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          I highly doubt that they are overall "stricter" than either US DOT or European NCAP type standards. As a matter of fact, the Cavalier was sold as a Toyota in Japan in the 90's with minimal changes (and poor sales, to boot). In any case, what's obvious to anyone who looks at JDM sales statistics is that the Japanese very much favor their own brands - Toyota (the brand) alone sells seven times the volume of ALL the imports COMBINED. And that doesn't even include the Toyota-owned subsidiaries like Hino or it's share of FHI/Subaru.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          [blocked]
          Frankie Rose
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          I live in Vancouver, where I get to see JDMs all over the place. Crash worthiness?! Give me a break. environmental standards? Where?! I love to see roof crush results, just as an example. Cars here got heavy here because they're built like vaults compared to the stuff produced there. I see 4X4 trucks wheelbases comparable to my motorcycle teetering down the highway, and you call that safe? Call this argument what you will, but don't go with safety standards and how Japan Inc is leading the way.
          blitzkrieg550
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          I find it hard to believe that anything Ford, GM, and Fiat make in this day and age do not meet safety and emissions standards in Japan. I mean what're you saying? that the Versa, Yaris, and Fit are drastically cleaner burning, more efficient, and safer than the Fiesta and upcoming Sonic? I could see how Chrysler wouldn't have anything for that market but when Fiat sits it out- the brand that makes the Panda, 500, Punto, for crying out loud- then you've definitely got a problem. The japanese market just IS a hard place for foreign makes, that isn't even debatable. On top of that as far as I know Public transport is still king in japan. So even if they could crack that barrier they'd still lose to busses and trains, it's a "why bother" scenario anyway you slice it. They've got plenty of other venues to show off electric this n' that and concepts, and they're in places where they may be able to make a dent in the local market.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 3 Years Ago
        The Ford Fiesta is the best selling car in the UK, which faces similar constraints - high gas prices, narrow, crowded streets, RHD model. The Ford Focus, and GM's Vauxhall/Opel Corsa & Astra are also very competitive small cars. And now that Chrysler is owned by Fiat, they have all those little Italian cars to market as well. Of course the real reason they are not bothering is that Japanese buyers strongly prefer domestic brands, and while Japan doesn't have auto tariffs, they have rather expensive "safety" inspections of foreign vehicles, that amount to the same thing. That is why almost all the foreign cars you see in Japan are exclusive luxury vehicles, as that market is much less expensive.
          Dest
          • 3 Years Ago
          @dreadcthulhu01
          The Focus and FIesta are NOT competitive in terms of the Japanese market. Have you even seen the most popular cars over there? Every other car is shaped like a box and is very efficient in terms of space. They make the Fit look bad. The Fiesta is just about the least space-efficient vehicle I've seen considering how cramped the rear seats are. And Japan has VERY different tastes from the UK. And that's bull crap about the Japanese preferring domestic brands. If you make a good car, they will buy it. They buy BMWs, Audis and Mercedes over Lexus. Apple has been gaining in their smartphone market like crazy as well when just a few years ago so-called experts talked about how closed and pro-domestic the Japanese market was.
        Rob
        • 3 Years Ago
        The 3 pony cars would make for some unique vehicles in Japan.
      Blue
      • 3 Years Ago
      Only Americans care about American cars. Asia and Europe really couldn't care less about your vehicles. They're too big, too ugly, too inefficient. Too American!
        styxmiko
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Blue
        OK, I see the Americans are too decent to tell you that you are TOO STUPID!!!!, so I'll say it...you are too STUPID
      Dave
      • 3 Years Ago
      Their market is closed so why should an American company waste effort shipping cars over there to "show". BTW, when a car is shipped into Japan it's subjected to a JMT (Japanese Ministrity of Transport) "safety inspection" and they are charged basically what amounts to 50% of the price of the vehicle per unit to have it "inspected". It's completely rigged.
      John
      • 3 Years Ago
      They may not have any tariffs or excessive taxes on imports, but as a rule Japan is a deeply protectionist nation. Its their culture to ensure the wealth stays in its own nation. I will point out that during the recession here Japan had its own version of cash for clunkers. But in their system imports were all but ineligible to be used. They made a point to only cater to people who bought domestic vehicles. Here is the US most consumers traded in larger American iron for smaller imports.... I am sure if regulations were put in place here to ensure we only bought domestic vehicles there would have been a huge backlash. That's our culture. Also about the tax on imported trucks.... most foreign companies get around that by building trucks/suvs here in the US (Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, etc). Its easier to get around regulations than cultural preferences/prejudices.
      KAG
      • 3 Years Ago
      There lost for not going.
        Renaurd
        • 3 Years Ago
        @KAG
        They haven't lost a damn thing, the Japanese market is CLOSED TO AMERICAN PRODUCTS.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Renaurd
          [blocked]
          Dest
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Renaurd
          But not to European ones amusingly...
      styxmiko
      • 3 Years Ago
      non of the germans or the japanese would exist or have survived this long without the American market. Both these markets are protectionist and even if they would allow American cars in their market, it would not matter to the American car manufacturers. The real market for cars is the USA and recently China...If the Americans car manufacturers concentrate their efforts in these two countries and don't piss their money away on meaningless countries (the europeans don't even buy cars lately , they are so screwed up economically) they will be the dominant force again in the world. SO GOOD DECISION from the big 3.
      cadetgray
      • 3 Years Ago
      The decision makes perfect business sense considering the hit to the Japanese economy caused by the earthquake/tsunami. American manufacturers are best to focus on recapturing lost market share in North America while the Japanese companies are experiencing supply disruptions.
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