GM, Chrysler will skip 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Ford to decide this month

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 18, 2011

The deadline for the registration of participants for this year's Tokyo Motor Show is almost here and so far, General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC have confirmed that they won’t be attending while Ford Motor Co. is expected to decide by this month. It will be the second consecutive event that GM and Chrysler will be absent from the show.

At the last show in 2009, all three automakers chose not to join. Japan had been actively wooing the foreign carmakers and they even put together a new venue and date.

It’s likely not to hold any interest for the U.S. automakers since they only have marginal sales in Japan. In 2010, Cadillac and Chevrolet (GM's two biggest sellers) sold only 2,000 vehicles in Japan.

The registration deadline was last November but the show’s organizer, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, intends to announce a final roster of attendees in April. JAMA revealed that most European brands (including those based in Germany) have signed up this year.

Sumito Ishii, managing director of GM Asia Pacific Japan, said that they consider the Tokyo Motor Show to be a big event but GM “wanted to focus on other priorities." Ishii said, "It's an investment versus outcome issue for us."

He revealed that the last time that GM attended in 2007, it spent millions of dollars on its five-car display. Ford sold 3,047 units in Japan last year. Ford Japan CEO Timothy Tucker said that even if the improved sales results in 2010 means greater resources this year, Ford has yet to decide “where the motor show sits in [its] priorities." [via autonews - sub. required]

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