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Tokyo Motor show 2019 wins back Generation Z

POSTED BY Shuen Lim ON 24 October 2019

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The 46th Tokyo Motor Show which opens its door to the public tomorrow is the first time that the Japan automotive industry is inclusive of family.

Now, children (12 years and below) are allowed in free of charge and there are activities for the youngsters including an “Out of Kidzania at the TMS 2019”.

It is also hosting the All-Japan under-18 e-Motorsports championship. Of course, they don’t have a driving license and they don’t need one because they are driving on the Sony-owned PlayStation. In the most recent competition on a simulation of the Fuji Speedway, the 12 finalists were within 0.9 seconds of each other.

The Gran Turismo sport is the latest title in the Gran Turismo Series. Top players from all over Japan and all over the world will gather for various “summit battles” based on this championship.  automotive-themed e-sports championship and a new that’s popular with youngsters.

Besides trying to win back the new young generation, the Japan Automotive Manufacturers Association (JAMA) which organises the Tokyo Motor Show is facing the same existential crisis as the European and US auto show organisers.

Many car companies are increasingly focussing their advertising and promotion budgets for maximum impact and focussing their budgets to their own nation’s car shows.

It all started about five years ago when some European makers of convertible sports cars decided that they would not take part in the Detroit Motor Show. Held in the Cobo Convention centre, convertible cars aren’t really relevant in the throes of the winter in continental USA.

The no-show of foreign brands was striking at the recent Frankfurt Motor show. Honda was the only major Japanese brand to display. Of course, the German and European brands exhibited in force.

While the 46th Tokyo Motor Show is still huge by any standard – 187 exhibitors from eight countries – it also includes manufacturers, parts suppliers and telco’s with 5G trials playing roles in developing technologies linked to electric vehicles and autonomous driving.

“Among other future technologies featured at the show is an experimental vehicle with an electric motor using a low-loss inverter using gallium nitride semiconductors developed by a Nagoya University research team.

“Led by Hiroshi Amano, a Nagoya University professor who won the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics with his team for developing gallium nitride based blue spectrum LEDS, this new inverter reduces power loss by over 20 pct,” stated a Yomiura Shimbun report.

It’s about Mobility as a Service and this year’s Tokyo Motor Show is a belated response of the Japan automotive industry as Europe tightens emission standards.

It recognises that hydrogen as a fuel for electricity will have to take backseat for the future (6 years?) while plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicle are for now.

Mazda launched its first electric vehicle – badged the MX-30 — at the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday and will start delivering the vehicles in Europe by next year.