Association, Inc.

Issue No. 1, 2014

New technologies and concepts shine at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show

JAMA once again delivered a successful Tokyo Motor Show, held from November 22 through December 1, 2013.  This was the conclusion of JAMA Chairman Akio Toyoda at the show’s finale; ‘I believe we succeeded in promoting to those in and outside of Japan the elements of fun that vehicles have to offer, and the underlying vitality of Japanese manufacturing’, explained Mr Toyoda.

The 2013 Tokyo Motor Show marked the 43rd time this globally-recognised event was held.  As in preceding editions, the show provided a platform for Japanese and international automobile, motorcycle and auto parts manufactures to exhibit their products and advanced technologies.  In total, 178 companies and 181 brands from 12 countries were present at the show’s Tokyo Big Sight venue on Tokyo’s waterfront.

Under the slogan ‘Compete! And shape a new future’, the show boasted 76 world premieres and 81 domestic debuts in a dazzling display which also included commercial vehicles and motorcycles.  Firsts for the Tokyo Motor Show in 2013 were the Odaiba Motor Festival, conducted daily from Saturday, November 16 through Sunday, December 1—with the greater part of its programmes held on the weekends to provide visitors to the waterfront area a chance to come into direct contact with car and motorcycle displays and experience their appeal—and ‘Mobilityscape Tokyo’, held the night before the first press day.  The latter event featured successive groups of top executives from the Japanese automakers discussing the recovery of the Japanese automotive industry after the natural disasters of March 11, 2011 and, more specifically, Japan’s power of innovation.  The event also featured the unveiling of a sheet-metal sculpture, created by technical specialists from JAMA’s 14 member companies, representing (on a one-tenth scale) the 250 year-old ‘miracle’ pine tree which became a symbol of hope after it survived the tsunami that devastated much of northeastern Japan.

Highlighting innovation in the Japanese auto industry was the ‘Smart Mobility City 2013’ exhibition, which provided visitors with a look into the connectivity and convenience that will characterise urban mobility in the near future.  This exhibit included test drives of personal micro vehicles, which proved very popular, as well as demonstrations of advanced driver-assist systems and international symposia on pertinent issues.  (See the following article for more details on this aspect of the show.)

Turnout at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show was excellent.  Attendance totalled 902,800 visitors, representing a 7% increase from the previous show that took place in 2011 and, more importantly, signifying a growing public interest in the automotive industry and its output (daily visitor turnout in fact exceeded daily turnout at each of the four previous Tokyo shows).  Similarly, there was a larger media presence at this year’s show, with over 10,000 national and international media representatives covering the event.

Participant surveys indicated that visitors to this year’s show were extremely satisfied with what was on offer.  The combination of hands-on, interactive programmes, discussions featuring international experts, tours of the Tokyo Motor Show led by prominent automotive journalists, an impressive fireworks demonstration and other entertainment as well as vehicle displays in the surrounding Odaiba area contributed to a high level of visitor satisfaction.
As the official Tokyo Motor Show organiser, JAMA was responsible for putting the event together and ensuring that it ran smoothly.  JAMA was particularly pleased that this year’s show successfully promoted not only the excellence of Japanese manufacturing, but also the brand value of ‘Japan’ and ‘Tokyo’.

More is still too come.  As Mr Toyoda affirmed, Japan’s auto manufacturers will continue to help shape the future of mobility and its interrelationship with society by supplying attractive vehicles featuring cutting-edge and innovative technologies.  JAMA, meanwhile, intends to build on this year’s successful foundations as it prepares for the 44th Tokyo Motor Show, to be held in autumn 2015 at the same Big Sight venue.  Information concerning that show will be released this spring.

Further information on the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show can be found here.