Preview: Tokyo Motor Show by the numbers: 2007 vs 2009

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In Brief: The 41st Tokyo Motor Show will open in about a week with a foreign passenger car maker presence barely a fraction the size it was in 2007.

Car show in the news

Show: The 41st Tokyo Motor Show 2009
Dates: October 23 – November 4

The Word

Scheduled to open Friday October 23, the 41st Tokyo Motor Show 2009 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba city has been the fall guy for numerous forgein car companies feeling the sting of the economy, as they've been dropping out in droves.

Motor show

While the show's organizers have not been able to count on a single US, German, or French car company, domestic car makers haven't let them down. In 2007, nine Japanese car companies exhibited 152 vehicles and showed off 30 world premieres, while this year, there will be eight domestic passenger car companies, with 141 exhibits and 18 world premieres.

Expectations were big for this year, but as the economy tanked, things began to implode for the show's organizers, namely:

-- In 2007, 26 foreign passenger car companies came to the show. This year, there will be 3.

-- In 2007, those companies exhibited 178 vehicles. This year, a flimsy 12 exhibition vehicles, none from a major carmaker.

And so …

The Tokyo Motor Show drew about a million and a half visitors in 2007. No word on what they expect this year, but what might save them—the only thing that can—is the hype surrounding all the many hybrid and electric vehicle concepts expected from domestic carmakers like Honda and Mitsubishi.

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