20 Carmakers Say No to Tokyo

Press and News

2009 Tokyo Auto Show

More than 20 major foreign carmakers, including General Motors Corp. and Germany’s BMW AG, will skip the Tokyo Motor Show later this year to save costs, the organizer said Thursday, underlining a deepening slump in the global auto industry.

When money gets tight, car shows suffer. They’re essentially a form of advertising, and when things go south, advertising and marketing are the first things to get cut. It’s not a very forward-thinking approach—I mean, how are you going to attract customers if they don’t know about your new vehicles? But, in a volatile market like this one, cutting expenses by not attending shows, for example, is all part of the game.

22 foreign carmakers have decided to pass on the Tokyo Motor Show, leaving only four foreign makers — including South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co., Italy’s Ferrari and British race car maker Lotus — at the event. All 22, which also include Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen AG, Porsche SE, had attended the previous Tokyo Motor Show in 2007.

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