Association, Inc.

Issue No. 1, 2013

Odaiba Festival-Tokyo Motor Week 2012

Organised by JAMA in cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Waterfront Community Development Council and its key affiliated companies, ‘Odaiba Festival-Tokyo Motor Week 2012’ was held in October last year.  Through this initiative, JAMA aimed to expand the industry’s fan base, particularly among young people.  It was an opportunity for the automobile manufacturers to share with visitors a unique and entertaining automobile and motorcycle experience.   

The festival’s duration was from Saturday 6 October through Sunday 14 October, with events taking place primarily on the weekends during that time frame, in various venues within Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront area.  Auto-themed events were designed to cater to as broad as possible a range of visitor interests.

Corporate participation included eight passenger car manufacturers and three motorcycle manufacturers, all of them JAMA members, as well as three members of the Japan Automobile Importers Association.  A total of almost 20 separate events were held, including a roundtable discussion, vehicle exhibits, test drives and rides, a pet-focussed event, a fashion event, a car race, and ‘engineerIng classes’ for kids.

The test rides gave visitors the chance to sample first-hand advanced safety technologies such as collision-mitigation braking and other pre-crash safety systems.  They could also participate in a roundtable discussion in which top automobile executives described their fondest industry memories as well as childhood model favourites.  In a similar vein, the not-to-be-missed ‘Autojumble’ exhibit, a sort of automobile flea market, displayed a wonderful variety of domestic and foreign classic cars.

For the next generation of car enthusiasts, the festival offered special events including a ‘Kids’ Motor Show’ and the popular ‘Soapbox Derby’, a racing event for youngsters that featured gravity-powered vehicles running on an incline.  Younger visitors also had the opportunity to learn more about the engineering profession and basic automotive technology through kids-oriented engineering classes.  The hope is that the staging of such original events as those that took place at this festival will arouse the interest of youngsters and even lead some to consider a future career in the automobile industry.

With its final tally of 380,000 visitors, of whom over 50% were under 30 years of age, the Odaiba Festival was a resounding success.  The event not only exceeded the organisers’ expectations in terms of attendance, it also, from the evidence, fulfilled its overall objective of expanding interest in the automobile industry and its products, among young adults in particular.  In a follow-up survey of visitors to the festival, over 85% of the respondents indicated that their interest in motor vehicles had grown as a result of their attendance.

JAMA aims to build on such momentum as it gears up for this autumn’s 43rd Tokyo Motor Show.

For a video on the Odaiba Festival, see http://www.jama.or.jp/lib/movie/121006_odaiba.html (in Japanese only).