In a calamitous bit of coincidental timing, three major auto shows are scheduled at the same time this November. The Tokyo, Los Angeles and Guangzhou, China, shows all have media days of Nov. 21 and 22.
It's a quandary for automakers. When splashy vehicle unveilings routinely cost $1 million a pop, picking a show for a big introduction is no small decision.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association has pledged to fix the overlap in 2015, when Tokyo holds its next show. But for now, JAMA executive Toyokazu Ishida makes no apologies. "Tokyo is the most important show for JAMA member companies," he said. "It will be very difficult for top executives of JAMA members to visit the L.A. show on press days."
American Honda spokesman Sage Marie said Honda will have "significant debuts" in both Los Angeles and Tokyo and is studying ways to have Honda Motor CEO Takanobu Ito at both shows. "It's a logistical challenge. L.A. is Honda's most significant export market, and a big show in the States for us, but Tokyo is our home market," said Marie. "Our plan is to divide and conquer."
Simultaneous Tokyo and L.A. shows are bad enough, said Toyota spokesman Keisuke Kirimoto. "Throw in the Guangzhou Auto Show to boot and, voila, we have a nightmare."