To save money, the Detroit 3 aren't going to the Tokyo auto show in October. And maybe nobody is, depending on the results of a debate simmering inside the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
A spokeswoman for the trade group, which runs the show, denied a report in Automotive News that the group was debating whether to cancel the event. But a group official admitted otherwise.
"I cannot deny that a couple companies are not in favor of organizing the show under these conditions," Executive Director Toshihiro Iwatake told Automotive News in Tokyo.
The show's steering committee will decide next month, he said. JAMA wants to go ahead, he said, but two Japanese automakers favor canceling for financial reasons.
He wouldn't name them but said one is in western Japan and one is in central Tokyo. The first would appear to be Mazda; the second could be Honda, Nissan or Mitsubishi.
A Mazda spokesman said his company won't unilaterally pull out: "If they hold the show, we'll be there."
Honda and Mitsubishi say they plan to attend. Nissan said it would follow JAMA's final decision. But a spokesman said Nissan was reviewing all auto show activities worldwide. "In this current climate, we need to maximize the return on all investments," he said. "Just attending a show because we have done so in the past is no longer a good enough reason."