TOKYO -- This year's Tokyo Motor Show is positioning itself as a connected car showcase of trends "beyond the motor," but the futuristic theme isn't enough to draw the Detroit 3.
All three -- General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co. -- are sitting out the biennial event this fall.
Their absence wasn't a huge surprise when the show's organizer, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, announced the official roster Monday.
GM and Ford have been no-shows for four straight Tokyo shows. This year will be their fifth. Ford no longer even sells cars in Japan; it quit the market in 2016. GM is a niche player, focusing mostly on its luxury Cadillac marque and offerings such the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro.
At the last show in 2015, Jeep became the first U.S. brand to display in nearly a decade.
But this year, Jeep will take a break, along with the rest of the FCA lineup, including Fiat and Alfa Romeo. FCA Japan said it wants to focus on marketing efforts that deliver a bigger punch.
Jeep is the best-selling U.S. brand in Japan and the No. 7 import brand overall.
"We want them to participate but, unfortunately, they have not registered," JAMA Chairman Hiroto Saikawa said of the American brands. Saikawa is also CEO of Nissan Motor Co.
Saikawa acknowledged that the Tokyo show does not attract a lot of global vehicle debuts.
"If you're expecting many world premieres, it's not likely to be the main focus in the future," he said. "We have to consider how to evolve and be clever in how we make an appeal."
The show is now trying to sell itself as a technology showcase of tomorrow's trends.
JAMA is angling for that vibe with this year's theme, "Beyond the Motor." The show will focus on new mobility and feature a Tokyo Connected Lab 2017, a kind of "future mobility" theme park where visitors can get hands-on experience with connected and self-driving cars. Personal mobility, car sharing and smart logistics will be some of the other topics being touted.
The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show runs Oct. 27-Nov. 5.