The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that there are three motor shows this week, separated by a matter of hours and some global time differences.
If I've got my timings right (and, sorry to disappoint you, but the Autocar office doesn't have three clocks on the wall, all set to different time regions, as appears to be the case for every mega-branded news organisation in Hollywood blockbusters) then the Tokyo motor show will kick-off proceedings, just as the pre-show LA unveilings begin. As Tokyo hits a crescendo the LA motor show will open its doors. And then the Guangzhou motor show will come on stream.
This is, of course, total madness, as the shows and their exhibitors will be falling over each other trying to publicise their wares.
The situation has arisen because of a bout of stubborness, I'm told. The LA motor show date is set in stone because of American national holidays, and organisers stuck to its schedule because they felt launches of the calibre of the new Mini, the F-type coupé and the Porsche Macan gave it a prominence that meant it could take centre stage.
However, they reckoned without the Tokyo motor show organisers. There is an elaborate system in the car world of 'A' spec motor shows and ''B' spec motor shows. Tokyo has long considered itself to sit alongside Detroit, Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris in the former category, but its status has waned in recent years, as manufacturers have preferred to concentrate on the more glitzy and less home-market dominated LA show.
How to solve this situation? Two years ago the Tokyo motor show organisers set the shows a few weeks apart. This year they have set them head-to-head, and to hell with anybody who disagrees. I kind of admire that stubbornness, and Tokyo's refusal to move aside for a 'second-rate' show, although it would help its cause if one of the homemakers can wheel out a hitherto unseen 'big bang' launch to add lustre to what is undoubtedly a broader amount of launches than LA has mustered. What the decidedly 'C' list Guangzhou show organisers are thinking is anybody's idea.
The result of this face-off is that car makers are spending a lot of money taking in both the LA and Tokyo shows, organising simultaneous launches of the same car at the same time and generally doing twice the amount of work they would otherwise have done. Oh, and the highlight of Guangzhou appears to be the launch of the facelifted Lexus CT200h.