Twelve hours at 35,000ft is time enough to consider the winners and losers at this year's Tokyo motor show.
The losers were all those who decided not to show up. For this was great motorshow: full of fun, optimism and an abiding passion for cars. From the Porsche Macan and Jaguar F-type coupé to the little Honda S660 and Gordon Murray’s Yamaha Motiv – this was a show that celebrated great cars in all their many guises, from big to small, traditional to avant garde.
But the real winners will be the show-going public, a point too often lost on organisers of motor shows around the world.
In the same way those who work in F1 forget they’d not have jobs were it not for the public that watch what they do, car manufacturers regard motor shows primarily no longer as a means of introducing the public to their cars in the most user-friendly form possible, but as a form of corporate willy-waving aimed to prove to their industrial opposition that mine really is bigger than yours. At Frankfurt in September I have no doubt the VW Group alone took more stand space than every major car manufacturer that turned up in Tokyo put together.
The result, as anyone who has been to the Frankfurt show will tell you, is you spend much more time walking between stands than looking at what they contain, which is frankly farcical. One end of the show was over a mile away from the other and apart from being murderous on your feet, it is very inefficient with your time.