The Tokyo motor show is regarded as one of the most diverse in the industry, encompassing the best of Japan’s native car makers as well as its idiosyncratic car culture, with wild tuning cars, boxy kei cars and more.
The 45th edition of the biennial show is underway, and Autocar's team was on hand for the opening press day to bring you full coverage. Editorial director Jim Holder, editor Mark Tisshaw, news editor Rachel Burgess and staff writer Jimi Beckwith were all in Japan. Their coverage, along with that of our contributing writers, can be found below.
Tokyo motor show report - by Jim Holder
Is the Japanese car industry in crisis? It seemed a perfectly reasonable question to ponder on the eve on the Tokyo motor show.
The majority of the bigger players (Toyota, Honda) looked like they were floundering, broadsided by rapidly developing global legislation that is determined to accelerate the uptake of battery electric vehicles, while the smaller firms (Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru) appeared to be caught with either halfway house technology or no obvious sign of any next-gen technology at all. Meanwhile, Nissan, first to market with the Leaf, was now being viewed as being caught in the pack as rivals race to take up the EV cudgels.
Two days later, after being immersed in the best the Japanese car industry has to offer today, tomorrow and for years to come, that feeling of impending doom is alleviated – if not entirely eradicated.
The crisis, it seems, is more one of communication than creativity. Japanese have a well-heralded love of hiding their light under a proverbial bushel, but in the global car industry that doesn’t make for effective transmission of what’s happening.