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Tokyo Motor Show History
Previous Page The 27th Tokyo Motor Show (1987 . 10/29 - 11/9)
The 27th Tokyo Motor Show Poster

"Enjoying Life on Wheels - Inspiring Future of Man & Vehicle"
"New life is coming in sight beyond vehicles." This is an apt expression for these times. By driving vehicles well, whether two-wheeled or four, man expands his sphere of action, gains a wider perspective, and is impressed by new discoveries. This was the background for the theme "Pleasure of Driving, Throbbing Future of Man and Vehicles."

Today, those pursuing richer, more individual life are seeking extremely diverse functions and symbols in vehicles. For some young people, "speed is the vehicle." For other people sports or communication with their friends are associated with vehicles. And for many women drivers of today, the vehicle as a whole is a musical space or a fashion space.

Thus, diversity of driving pleasure has greatly influenced vehicle manufacture itself. This is clear from the fact that present day vehicle manufacture is inclined to make a suggestion about life itself, rather than the intrinsic technology or design development.

As people become more individual, their lifestyles become very diverse. And people project their images of sensitivity and life on everyday things such as vehicles. They make the vehicle a symbol of self-expression. In other words, the individual identifies with the car as a part of his or her self and seeks to make it something special that defines his or her world. Perhaps by driving a car well, one becomes the star of that drama and experiences driving pleasure.

There has been no show more abundant in variety or scale than this show. The number of visitors, 1,297,200, was an all-time record for a 12-day show. There were many factors behind this success.

For one thing, Japanese automakers exhibited even more unique concept carsin an all-out effort to expand the domestic market, due to the stronger yen making exports more difficult. A second reason was serious participation by American and European automakers in the show. Favored by the appreciation of the yen, foreign car sales boomed. The show saw full-scale participation by Western automakers and participation by Yue Loong Motor from Taiwan for the first time. It was really an international show joined by 276 domestic and foreign makers, two foreign governments and two organizations. To name a few of the many distinguished guests who came to visit the show from overseas: Mr. Pininfarina, President of Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d Automobiles (OICA), Crown Prince Frederic of Denmark, Swedish King Gustav 16th, a number of ambassadors in Japan, Mr. Petersen, Chairman of Ford Motor Company, Mr. Carl H.Hahn, Chairman of VW, Mr. Von Kuenheim, Chairman of BMW, and Mr. Calvet, Chairman of Peugeot. In addition, vice presidents and other executives came from GM,Chrysler, Jaguar, Fiat, Volvo and other automakers. It was the first time that so many top auto executives visited the motor show.

The mass media also paid greater attention than before. Applications for telecasting increased to 10 from 2 at the previous show. The number of domestic journalists who visited the show was 4,875 vis-a-vis 3,980 at the previous show. Especially remarkable was the increase of foreign journalists from 530 to 889. This indicated the recognition of the Tokyo Motor Show as an international motor show abreast with the three major international motor shows.

Growing international interest in the Tokyo Motor Show made JMIF expandthe foreign car exhibition space to two halls this year from one hall with two floors. As a result, foreign car exhibition space expanded to 80% of that allotted to the domestic cars. Exhibited were 179 vehicles by 31 companies from 6 countries and one region - the most ever.

Expansion of the exhibition area allowed more spacious display, which helped create the atmosphere of a real international motor show. Most enthusiastic among the foreign participants were Europeans. After the establishment of a Japanese corporation by BMW, other makers such as Mercedes Benz, Volvo, and Jaguar set up Japanese units in 1986. The exhibits from these companies reflected their new degree of commitment. For example, brand new models such as the Renault 21 turbo, the Ferrari F40, the BMW 318i, the Peugeot405, and the Porsche Speedster were displayed, which was regarded as a sales offensive targeted at the Japanese market amid the foreign car boom.

In the domestic passenger car sector, concept cars were again very popular.The trend was to exhibit more concept cars than new models. This was due to the growing recognition that the reputation of concept cars would enhance the corporate image and determine the destiny of the company. That is why more concept cars appeared in the show than before, and there were many cars that revealed their makers individuality and thinking. Notable were the Toyota FXV-II, Nissan ARC-X, and Mitsubishi HSR. All these cars shared the intention to enhance electronic controls, and have automatic, concentrated control of all controlling systems. Specifically, these systems automatically controlled the drive train, suspension, steering, brakes, driving position, etc. according to driving conditions or weather.

Meanwhile, the exhibition of many concept cars in which "software" -- sensitivity, diversity and individuality -- were emphasized in addition to new technology or "hardware," was another characteristic of the show. One example was the Mazda MX-04 which could be dressed up to fit the driver s mood or purpose at a given time. Other example were the Gemini Zero Door, Isuzu s ultimate open car for which openness was the theme, Nissan Pao, with its "retro" mood in which individuality was emphasized, and the Elia by which Suzuki proposed a triple box type of midget car. In general, it seemed that products aimed at everybody s moderate satisfaction gradually diminished, while concept cars built freely and creatively without sticking to a ready-made concept were becoming a new focus of the motor show.

The debut of higher class domestic cars in response to Western cars was also a topic of the show. As foreign cars became more available with the stronger yen and Japanese consumers increasingly demanded larger and more gorgeous cars, Toyota announced the wider Crown, Honda the Legend, and Nissan the Cima.

Advanced technology, new designs and new ideas were abundantly adopted in large trucks and buses as well. Hino displayed a large sight-seeing bus, the Grand Theater, and Isuzu the Journey Q Royal Decker. They were the first buses with slanted windows or slanted floors in Japan. Mercedes Benz exhibited four commercial vehicles, including buses, for the first time, another sign of the internationalization of the Japanese market.

To avoid congestion, show hours were extended by three and a half hours to8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, which was well received.
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