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2017 Tokyo Motor Show

2017 Tokyo Motor Show

The Tokyo Motorshow was once regarded as one of the major international motorshows, with over 350 exhibitors and drawing visitors numbering over one million every two years between 1979 and 2007 (the highest number ever was 2,108,500 in 1991). But towards the end of the 2000s, the auto industry went through the cyclical difficult times and 2009 saw the event’s stature start to diminish. That year’s show, the 41st, saw just 109 exhibitors with less than half the number of vehicles on display compared to the 2007 event. Major foreign  manufacturers didn’t participate and the excess of space was painfully evident while the area occupied was 50% smaller. Attendance also dipped to 614,400 visitors from 1.4 million two years earlier, a reflection of diminishing interest in cars in Japan in some ways.

As a result, the organisers (JAMA – the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) stopped using the sprawling Makuhari Messe exhibition centre near Tokyo Disneyland which had been the motorshow’s venue from 1989. For the 2011 motorshow, they moved to the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre – more popularly known as Tokyo Big Sight – on the Tokyo Bay waterfront. Although Makuhari Messe seemed much bigger, Tokyo Big Sight is the largest convention and exhibition centre in the country.  It covers an area which is 15% bigger than Makuhari Messe although exhibition space for the motorshow became smaller than what it was at the previous venue (though bigger than 2009).

While all the Japanese manufacturers were present, global brands such as Ford and GM were absent this year, Ford having ‘exited’ the Japanese market last year after finding that the potential volumes and market conditions do not make it worthwhile to do business in. However, the Japanese are fond of European cars and all the major brands were present.

It’s clear that the motorshows in China are now of greater significance to the industry but JAMA believes that while the Tokyo Motorshow might no longer have the quantity, it still has much quality and showcases the advanced technologies that the Japanese industry can offer today and tomorrow. In fact, this year’s theme looked beyond motor vehicles themselves and included the various elements of the mobility sector which will redefine the very meaning of ‘automobile’. Thus, for its 45th edition which ended this evening, the Tokyo Motorshow looked beyond the automobile industry in its conventional sense to embrace a broad spectrum of concepts and technologies.

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2017 Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda presented a follow-up to the RX Vision concept shown at the 2015 show with the Vision Coupe concept. However, the head of Mazda Design, Ikuo Maeda, said that it is only a design study and is not the basis for any future sports model as it is too big.
Mazda presented a follow-up to the RX Vision concept shown at the 2015 show with the Vision Coupe concept. However, the head of Mazda Design, Ikuo Maeda, said that it is only a design study and is not the basis for any future sports model as it is too big.
The Kai concept ('Kai' is Japanese for 'pioneer'), on the other hand, is a preview of the next Mazda3 generation which should be launched in 2018. The concept has a hatchback style but there should certainly be a sedan as well.
The Kai concept (‘Kai’ is Japanese for ‘pioneer’), on the other hand, is a preview of the next Mazda3 generation which will be launched in 2018. The concept has a hatchback style but there should certainly be a sedan as well.
The Century is Toyota's flagship model which has been produced since 1967 - but only for the Japanese market. To date, only two generations have been produced with the current one having a Toyota-designed V12 engine, the only Japanese model with a V12. After 20 years, it's time for a new generation and this prototype previews the third generation. Still looks conservative, which is what Japanese corporate leaders appreciate, but it is packed with advanced technologies and has a 5-litre V8 hybrid powertrain.
The Century is Toyota’s flagship model which has been produced since 1967 – but only for the Japanese market. To date, only two generations have been produced with the current one having a Toyota-designed V12 engine, the only Japanese model with a V12. After 20 years, it’s time for a new generation and this prototype previews the third generation. Still looks conservative, which is what Japanese corporate leaders appreciate, but it is packed with advanced technologies and has a 5-litre V8 hybrid powertrain.
This mean-looking sportscar concept is the GR HV Sports, the 'HV' indicating it has a hybrid powertrain. It's uncertain whether this is a hint of the next 86 but it's not the new Supra although it has rear-wheel drive,
This mean-looking sportscar concept is the GR HV Sports, the ‘HV’ indicating it has a hybrid powertrain. It’s uncertain whether this is a hint of the next 86 but it’s not the new Supra although it has rear-wheel drive.
Futuristic concept cars used to be the attractions of motorshows but somehow, when they are too futuristic, they no longer wow as much as production models which people can buy in the near future. But manufacturers still show them to showcase future technologies. Toyota's futuristic models this year were the Concept i series (top right and above) and the Fine Comfort Ride (top left).
Futuristic concept cars used to be the attractions of motorshows but somehow, when they are too futuristic, they no longer wow as much as production models which people can buy in the near future. But manufacturers still show them to showcase future technologies. Toyota’s futuristic models this year were the Concept i series (top right and above) and the Fine Comfort Ride (top left).
While the Century has been Toyota's flagship for the domestic market, the Crown has been a global flagship but for the domestic market, the model has sporty variants as well. The Crown concept shown may be the basis for the next generation which will have higher performance and connected technologies.
While the Century has been Toyota’s flagship for the domestic market, the Crown has been a global flagship but for the domestic market, the model has sporty variants as well. The Crown concept shown may be the basis for the next generation which will have higher performance and connected technologies.
By the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, many of the taxis in Tokyo will be this model specially developed by Toyota
With the retirement of the FJ Cruiser, many have wondered whether there will be a replacement model and the Tj Cruiser concept shows that Toyota's designers are working on something. The concept looks a bit too extreme for production though but some clever features inside could be adopted.
With the retirement of the FJ Cruiser, many have wondered whether there will be a replacement model and the Tj Cruiser concept shows that Toyota’s designers are working on something. The concept looks a bit too extreme for production though but some clever features inside could be adopted.
Honda's NeuV concept (top left) is a commuter vehicle with artificial intelligence and autonomous operation, so passengers just hop in , say where they want to go and it will get them there safely. The Urban EV Concept (top right) seems like a production possibility and recalls the original Civic of 1975 with its compact shape. And just to show that it won't stop making sporty cars, Honda also showed a Sports EV Concept (above). While the Urban EV concept is expected to be new model in 2019, the sportscar concept is still a study, according to Honda officials.
Honda’s NeuV concept (top left) is a commuter vehicle with artificial intelligence and autonomous operation, so passengers just hop in , say where they want to go and it will get them there safely. The Urban EV Concept (top right) is a production possibility and recalls the original Civic of 1975 with its compact shape. And just to show that it won’t stop making sporty cars, Honda also showed a Sports EV Concept (above). While the Urban EV concept is expected to be new model in 2019, the sportscar concept is still a study, according to Honda officials.
The first generation of the Honda Clarity was introduced in 2008 and was available only as a fuel-cell vehicle running on hydrogen. However, the model line is now being expanded to include plug-in hybrid and electric versions.
The first generation of the Honda Clarity was introduced in 2008 and was available only as a fuel-cell vehicle running on hydrogen. However, the model line is now being expanded to include plug-in hybrid and electric versions.

Goodyear Duraplus

The new Nissan LEAF EV offers greatly improved performance in all respects but this NISMO version (just a concept for now) offers enhanced performance.
The new Nissan LEAF EV offers greatly improved performance in all respects but this NISMO version (just a concept for now) offers enhanced performance.
Range is something which makes people hesitate about buying an electric car. In time, the range will be quite great and Nissan's IMx zero emissions concept car is said to be able to travel 600 kms on a full charge.
Range is something which makes people hesitate about buying an electric car. In time, the range will be quite great and Nissan’s IMx zero emissions concept car is said to be able to travel 600 kms on a full charge.
The Lexus LS+ concept made its debut at the motorshow and is packed with advanced technologies which will progressively become available in the brand's models in coming years. Much of it is related to autonomous technology which will improve motoring safety. And yes, we will continue to see the spindle grille in future models getting increasingly massive.
The Lexus LS+ concept made its debut at the motorshow and is packed with advanced technologies which will progressively become available in the brand’s models in coming years. Much of it is related to autonomous technology which will improve motoring safety. And yes, we will continue to see the spindle grille in future models getting increasingly massive.
In 1963, Daihatsu commissioned an Italian designer to come up with a model that was called the Compagno and in 2017, its own designers have come up with a modern version for a concept bearing the same name.
In 1963, Daihatsu commissioned an Italian designer to come up with a model that was called the Compagno and in 2017, its own designers have come up with a modern version bearing the same name. It’s just a concept but if there’s a strong business case (ie big potential numbers), perhaps Daihatsu will have it in showrooms in future.
An earlier generation of the Daihatsu Boon was a joint development with Toyota and Perodua. This is the latest generation but Perodua has advanced its own design capabilties so don't expect this model to become a Myvi.
An earlier generation of the Daihatsu Boon was a joint development with Toyota and Perodua. This is the latest generation but Perodua has advanced its own design capabilties so don’t expect this model to become a Myvi.
The DN Multisix concept is an idea Daihatsu has for a small MPV. The next Perodua Alza perhaps?
The DN Multisix concept is an idea Daihatsu has for a small MPV. The next Perodua Alza perhaps?
The DN TREC is a compact SUV concept and is probably how the new Daihatsu Terios will look like (to be launched in Indonesia later this month). Perodua is known to be studying the possibility of producing a compact SUV so this could well be the look of the next Kembara too.
The DN TREC is a compact SUV concept and is probably how the new Daihatsu Terios will look like (to be launched in Indonesia later this month). Perodua is known to be studying the possibility of producing a compact SUV so this could well be the look of the next Kembara too.

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