Last held in 2019, the biennial Tokyo Motor Show, one of the industry’s largest exhibitions, has been called off for 2021, with no plans for a virtual event to take its place. The announcement from JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) came ahead of its usual October schedule – making it the first time since the show’s inauguration in 1954 that it won’t be held as scheduled. This even as Auto Shanghai 2021 went ahead on-ground, as planned, in China with necessary precautions.
Japan has already announced a three-week state of emergency in four prefectures due to a surge in COVID infections. On the other hand, the 2020 Olympics, already delayed by a year, stand to go ahead as planned in July.
The 46th edition of the Tokyo Motor Show in 2019 attracted over 1.3 million visitors, and organizing chairman Akio Toyoda, also the president of Toyota, had been hopeful of a 2021 show filled with even more concept cars that would push the boundaries of ‘monozukuri,’ or manufacturing as practiced in Japan.
Some highlights from the 2019 edition of the Tokyo Motor Show include Nissan’s Ariya concept, Suzuki’s shape-morphing Waku SPO concept, Toyota’s LF30 Electrified and Mirai concepts, Mazda’s first electric model, the MX-30, and the new Honda Jazz.