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Tokyo Motor Show Shifts to Drive

The death of the Tokyo Motor Show has been greatly exaggerated. It’s certainly been a rough year for the Japanese automobile industry, and the Beijing and Shanghai shows are vying for global attention these days, but from opening media day signs, TMS is back – and so potentially are its crowds.

Tokyo Big Site, venue for Tokyo Motor Show 2011

The industry event opens to the public on December 3 and will run until Dec 11, but this year Tokyo’s Big Sight venue marks a return after 24 years in neighboring Chiba prefecture.

The more modest venue has provided a little ammunition to those saying the Japanese motor show is in decline, but some 800,000 visitors are expected and the number of exhibitors is up sharply from the last show in 2009.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and the Pivo 3 electric concept

In a way, it’s a small miracle that the event is happening at all, as the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan less than nine months ago.

With their supply chains severed, carmakers were paralyzed for weeks. But like the rest of Japanese society, the automobile sector earned the respect of the world by getting back on its feet incredibly quickly.

Add in the soaring Japanese yen and floods affecting production in Thailand, and it’s been quite a year.

But the Tokyo Motor Show is more about what is on the horizon than what’s in the rear view mirror, and over the next few days we will bring you all the images and words from what remains Asia’s top industry event.

The Juke Nismo was unveiled at the show

The ESFLOW electric sports car concept

The Nissan Global Media Center team is here for the first press day, and we will be streaming, snapping, tweeting and blogging everything, so stay tuned.

Here’s our first video from TMS . . .

Tony McNicol

Nissan Global Media Center

Cars, Motor Shows

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