Fears are growing in Japan that this October’s Tokyo motor show may be cancelled, due to the ongoing economic slowdown.
A spokesman for the Japan Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (JAMA), the body that organises the Tokyo show, said a decision on whether the show will go ahead or not will be made in early February.
This year’s Tokyo motor show is currently set to run between 23 October and 8 November, but a number of factors have now thrown the show into doubt.
The harsh global economic climate, Japan’s slumping domestic car market and the soaring value of the yen (which makes the Tokyo show increasingly expensive for foreign makers) are said to be the cause of the JAMA’s problems.
Some Japanese manufacturers, such as Nissan and Mitsubishi, set a precedent of sorts by pulling out of the Detroit show, citing economic concerns.
Now, the worry in Japan is that some of the major non-Japanese brands will do the same for Tokyo.
Japanese domestic makers say they are committed to attending the Tokyo show and want it to go ahead. In a sluggish market (sales fell 5.1 per cent in 2008, down for the third year in a row), the Tokyo show is seen as a vital boost to drive up sales and interest in cars generally.