TOKYO -- This falls Tokyo motor show is still on, but most of the worlds automakers will sit out.
The Detroit 3 wont be there. Neither will the big Germans. The same goes for the French, Chinese, Swedes and just about everyone else outside Japan.
In fact, the number of exhibitors at the Oct. 23-Nov. 4 show will be about half that of 2007, the last time the show was held, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said today. This years show also will be four days shorter and have about half the floor space.
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler already had said they will skip Tokyo to save mon3y. But JAMAs announcement confirmed that other big names -- including Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Audi -- will join the Detroit automakers on the sidelines.
Companies are reacting to the current economic environment, JAMA Chairman Satoshi Aoki told a news conference. This is a once-in-a-hundred-years crisis.
Once Asias premier auto show, the Tokyo exhibition has been hit hard as carmakers scale back their show schedules to save money. It can cost millions to exhibit, and even some Japanese manufacturers had proposed that this years event be canceled because of the slumping economy.
But in the end, Japans eight main automakers circled ranks and committed. Hometown attendees include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Daihatsu.
But the overseas contingent will wither to Porsche, Ferrari, Lotus, Maserati and boutique manufacturer Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen. Hyundai will be the only mass-market player.
The total number of exhibitors, including suppliers, will shrink to 122 companies, from 241 in 2007.
JAMA decided that having a small show was better than having none at all. The group is still planning one for 2011 in the hope that an improved economy will boost interest.
This is still an important show, Aoki said, in terms of the number of people attending, the number of vehicles on display and the number of world first debuts.