TOKYO -- The organizer of the Tokyo Motor Show, stung by a string of last-minute dropouts in 2009, is moving the 2011 event to a new venue and month and making it three days shorter.
After 20 years of holding the show just outside Tokyo at the sprawling Makuhari Messe in Chiba, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association will move it to Tokyo Big Sight, a smaller convention center in Tokyo’s waterfront district.
The next show is scheduled for Dec. 2-11, 2011. The event traditionally has been in October. The show is held every two years,
The 2011 show will be open to the general public for 10 days, three days fewer than in 2009 but still including two weekends. Media days will be Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
JAMA called the move a “leap forward” for a “reborn” show that will feature passenger cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle bodies, parts, machinery and tools.
Tokyo was once the premier show in Asia. But in recent years, it has become overshadowed by the Beijing and Shanghai exhibitions.
The 2009 show was nearly scrubbed after a rash of cancellations by international carmakers because of both the global financial crisis and Japan’s waning market influence.
Among the first to pull out were the Detroit 3, which sold fewer than 30,000 vehicles in Japan the previous year. They were followed quickly by Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes. Just weeks ahead of the event, South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. stunned show organizers by dropping out.
In the end, just two minor foreign carmakers attended at the event: German boutique manufacturer Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen and British sports car maker Lotus.
The 2009 show had only 11 passenger-car exhibitors, compared with 35 at the previous show.