The Tokyo motor show has been cancelled for the first time since the inaugural event in 1954, due to the ongoing pandemic.
- It has been cancelled due to increase in COVID-19 cases
- When it returns, it will be rebranded as a mobility show
- Virtual show not on the cards
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda – who is also the chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, which organises the Tokyo motor show – has stated that it would be difficult to offer the main programmes, where many visitors get to experience attractive features of mobility, in a safe environment.
The biennial event – typically one of the largest of its kind globally – has, until now, always gone ahead as scheduled. However, a surge in COVID-19 infections in Japan is causing concern, with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said to be considering declaring a state of emergency in cities, including Tokyo and Osaka.
The Tokyo motor show's cancellation comes just three months before Japan is set to host the Olympics, which was already pushed back by a year.
When it returns in 2022 or 2023, the Tokyo motor show will be rebranded as a 'mobility show' to reflect the increasingly diverse field of transportation solutions on offer from Japanese manufacturers.
A virtual version of the 2021 event, comparable to the 2020 Geneva motor show, was never on the cards, according to Toyoda. He has explained the event would like to prioritise having visitors experience these vehicles in the real world, and we would rather hold the event in the real world, not virtually. Hence, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association has decided to cancel the event.