Car companies are dead, long live the mobility companies!

At least that’s what they’re telling us. The implication is that old-school car makers have seen the way the world is turning, and are now ready and prepared to get you from where you are to where you want to go, whether you want to travel in a vehicle you own, one you are leasing, subscribing to or even renting by the hour - and, indeed, if you want to go by any means from bus to scooter, or anything in between. And all controlled online, of course.

All the news from the 2019 Tokyo motor show

So don’t, whatever you do, mistake them for old-fashioned, mass production car makers.

In general, where there’s a trend there’s a movement, so these claims are not to be dismissed lightly. Car making is complex enough without these added challenges, and the only reason to face into them is because they are perceived to be both inevitable and beyond their control. How we travel, and how we use cars is changing. Change, or die, seems to be the subtext.

So it is that this year’s Tokyo motor show is yet another reminder for those of us with a European leaning that the Japanese car makers have been talking about - and enacting - such ideas for far longer than most, and certainly longer than the German car makers talking about such concepts with heavy rhetoric at the recent Frankfurt motor show.