23 Oct 19

2019 Tokyo Motor Show

Unlike its Shanghai or Frankfurt sister events, the Tokyo Motor Show is usually overlooked or, at best, marginally covered by the international press and, surprisingly, also by the Asian press. The expo has been suffering from falling attendance and, for the last few years including this edition, lacked presence of European and US manufacturers.

Stepping up the game

The organizers have therefore decided for this year’s edition of the Tokyo Motor Show to become a different type of show, with loads of action outside the main halls, including music acts, e-sport competitions, supercars on display and driving demos.

Another initiative to attract visitors and press is the “Open Road”, a 1.5km stretch to showcase various micro-mobility solutions and the “Future Expo”, which will display a typical day in the near future through tech and new service models. NEC will be presenting its flying car prototype and Honda/Toyota some of their personal mobility vehicles.


Obviously, the Japanese car industry will be well represented, with large spaces dedicated to Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Nissan. As for non-Japanese manufacturers, Renault and Mercedes-Benz will be presenting their range, and so will BMW Alpina and Smart, but this can hardly be called a representation of the global automotive sector.

Open Future

This year’s theme is called “Open Future”, said to reflect the endless possibilities of future mobility. Also being showcased is a high number of electric vehicles. Slightly surprising, as the Japanese manufacturers have been adopting hybrid for a long time, and selling well domestically, but have openly discarded full electric as the powertrain of the future in favor of hydrogen.

Nevertheless, the Japanese OEMs understand that some markets, especially the Chinese market, are no longer interested in combustion engines. Japanese OEMs have a market share in China of 21.7% (figures January to September 2019) versus 24% for the European brands, making China the only country in APAC outside of the top 2 ranking.


The Tokyo Motor Show will be held, as usually, at the Tokyo Big Sight event halls form October 24th until November 4th. Global Fleet will be attending the event; stay tuned for pictures, impressions and news.

Authored by: Yves Helven