In the first three quarters of this year, new vehicle registrations in Japan dipped 9.5% year-on-year to 3,908,150 passenger cars, trucks and buses. This decline in numbers was mainly due to a 10.7% fall in the number of passenger car registrations during the January-September 2015 period, down to 3,278,790 units.
The truck segment fared slightly better, recording a 3% year-on-year drop, while registrations of buses in Japan improved by 9.3%. These gains, however, could not offset the drop in passenger car numbers during this period. But for Lexus (+6.1%) and Mazda (+20.8%), none of the major brands in the country managed sales growth during this nine-month period.
The industry will look to the 44th Tokyo Motor Show to reverse this trend, with an infusion of new models into the Japanese automotive market. With the theme ‘Your heart will race,’ Tokyo Motor Show 2015 features a total of 160 exhibitors from 11 countries, spread across passenger cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle bodies, parts, machinery and tools, and automobile-related services.
While some are returning to the Tokyo motor show after long breaks, others, such as France’s DS Automobiles, are exhibiting at the show for the very first time. This article will be updated throughout the show’s two press days to include key launches and developments.
- Toyota transforming pipedreams into household names
- Ghosn distinguishes partnership from “relationship of power”
- Tokyo 2015 concepts hint at how OEMs could meet future efficiency targets
- Ghosn: “Completely different objectives” for autonomous vs driverless
KEY MODEL LAUNCHES
BMW is presenting the world premiere of its M4 GTS at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show. This model improves on the potential of the M4 Coupe. The special edition is limited to a production run of 700 units. The car features new technology from BMW, such as water injection and intelligent lightweight design. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
New Mini Convertible
The Tokyo motor show will see the first public presentation of the new Mini Convertible. This new car features innovations in the areas of drive, suspension, equipment and networking. The new Mini Convertible is scheduled to go on sale on the Japanese market in the first quarter of 2016. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
According to Mercedes-Benz, the Vision Tokyo embodies the concept of an automotive lounge for a future generation of megacities. This is the brainchild of the designers working within Mercedes-Benz’s global network of Advanced Design Studios. The Vision Tokyo is also conceptualised for autonomous driving. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Super Great V SPIDER
Mitsubishi Fuso is exhibiting three vehicles at the Tokyo show – Super Great V “SPIDER” multi-task truck concept, the Super Great V 2016 model and the Canter power supply vehicle. The products showcased have been picked to exhibit the brand’s fuel efficiency and solutions for future needs. The ‘SPIDER’ is essentially a FV64VJR with a 6R10 (T8) diesel engine. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Fuji Heavy Industries
VIZIV Future Concept
Subaru’s world premieres at the Tokyo motor show includes its VIZIV Future Concept, an SUV-type concept model. According to the OEM, this concept gives a glimpse at the future that Subaru has in mind for the brand. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Impreza 5-Door Concept
This five-door style concept model takes its inspiration from the design of the next-generation Impreza envisaged in Fuji Heavy Industries’ mid-term management vision. According to the OEM, the Dynamic & Solid theme will be featured more prominently in new-generation models as the essence of Subaru. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Clarity Fuel Cell
The all-new Clarity FCV is Honda’s planned production model of a fuel cell vehicle. Honda will begin lease sales in Japan of this all-new Clarity Fuel Cell in March 2016. For the first year after the start of sales in Japan, Honda will focus on sales mainly to local government bodies or business customers which Honda has already been working with for the popularisation of FCVs. When combined with an external power feeding inverter, this FCV can function as a “mobile power plant” that generates and provides electricity to the community in the case of an emergency. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
The all-new NSX supercar features the new-generation direct-injected twin turbo VTEC V6 engine in a mid-ship layout. The car also features a super handling all wheel drive hybrid system. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Isuzu’s GIGA G-Cargo has its world premiere in Tokyo. This heavy-duty truck has been designed around five performance characteristics – cabin comfort, fuel efficiency, safety, payload and remote support through telematics.
Mazda’s world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show is its new sports car concept, the RX-Vision. According to the OEM, its designers strove to condense the company’s sports car history to as great a degree as possible into this concept; hence, this model is said to embody Mazda’s lineage. The sports car concept is powered by a next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
This car, the electric X crossover, is a showcase of Mitsubishi Motor’s next-generation EV technologies. The concept’s front design is a new interpretation of the MMC Dynamic Shield design concept. The eX Concept is a vision for a unique 100% electric-powered compact SUV aimed at the fast-growing compact SUV market. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Nissan’s new Leaf features a single-charge driving range of up to 280km according to the OEM’s internal measurements. This model is already one of the bestselling electric vehicles in the world today, with sales crossing 180,000 units since the model was launched in 2010. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
The IDS Concept unveiled at the Tokyo show is Nissan’s vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero emission EVs. Nissan’s strategy has been to integrate advanced vehicle control and safety technologies with cutting-edge artificial intelligence. The OEM says progress is well on track towards achieving its goal of equipping autonomous drive technology on multiple vehicles. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Teatro for Dayz
The Teatro for Dayz concept draws from the Italian word for theatre and a Nissan minicar. The car is built on Nissan’s EV technology and has been designed under the concept of of ‘a clean canvas.’ LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Just a year after its return, the Datsun brand is looking at possible expansion in new high growth markets such as Africa, Middle East, South East Asia and beyond. This concept hints at possibilities for line-up expansion, although it is a pure concept at the moment. It shares the same platform as Datsun GO+ and borrows design features from it. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
PSA Peugeot Citroen
The Tokyo Motor Show 2015 officially marks the launch of DS Automobiles in Japan. This is the first time the brand is participating in this show. It will showcase its latest creations including the New DS 4, DS 4 Crossback, New DS 5 ’1955′ limited edition as well as the ‘So Parisienne’ version for DS 3 and DS 3 Cabrio.
The MIGHTY DECK concept from Suzuki features a a canvas top and an open load deck that can be repositioned for various purposes. The car’s functionality also includes an automatic raise/lower function for the open deck. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Continuing with Suzuki’s concepts, the Air Triser is a newly conceived three-row compact minivan whose roominess and smart seat configurability embody the concept of a private lounge. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
The IGNIS is a new-genre compact crossover featuring a compact body and a simple, practical interior design. The car also offers a high eye point and high road clearance. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
IGNIS – Trail Concept
Another world premiere for Suzuki, the IGNIS – Trail Concept expands on the IGNIS concept of versatility. This concept’s design includes big-diameter wheels and bold wheel-arch mouldings. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
This concept combines the new Solio with Suzuki’s newly evolved hybrid system, allowing for electric-only propulsion. That said, the electric motor supplements the engine during acceleration.
Suzuki created the ALTO WORKS by equipping a turbocharged ALTO with a five-speed manual transmission. The concept behind this vehicle is a sporty, higher-performance model.
The Hustler concept is essentially a mini crossover, featuring a facelift such as the J STYLE II styling-and-equipment package and new pop-art colouring. This vehicle’s equipment includes a turbocharged engine mated to an S-ENE CHARGE system; an impact-mitigating Dual Camera Brake Support system; and a navigation system that has a built-in memory and can function as an all-direction monitor.
The Carry has been designed especially for open-air markets, as a functional mobile store. This version offers the Carry’s manoeuvrable compactness with a load bed that can be transformed into a stall for displaying produce.
Toyota Motor Corporation
Daihatsu is unveiling four world premieres at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show, all of which are concepts. The NORI ORI focusses on “getting in and out of a car.” This concept builds on the idea of “the multi-use commuter of the near future”, aiming to create an easy access compact car equipped with an ultra-low-floor, 2-way access doors that open widely, and an electric slope for a wide range of uses, such as loading a stroller or wheelchair. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
The TEMPO concept is based on the idea of “a new genre-space commercial vehicle.” The ideal sees the creation of a new form of mini CVs based on the FF (front-engine front-drive) platform.Daihatsu seeks to enter new markets by taking advantage of the features of FF vehicles. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
The D-base is a new basic compact car concept which hints at the next-generation compact cars from Daihatsu. This car features an internal combustion engine featuring Daihatsu’s e:S technology. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
The HINATA, meanwhile, is a new basic mini vehicle concept with a round design, focussing on refinement and space functionality. This car promises an open feel with double doors that open on both sides, and a variety of seat arrangements. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Fuel Cell Bus
One of Hino’s global premieres at Tokyo is its concept of a hydrogen fuel cell bus. As a member of the Toyota Group, Hino is furthering the technological development of the Fuel Cell Bus. This bus has been conceptualised to provide an external power supply function as well. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Hino’s Profia Hybrid is based on its heavy-duty Profia truck. Through this concept, the OEM has adopted its hybrid technology for heavy trucks. The original concept was in pursuit of fuel consumption for heavy trucks running long distances, with the hybrid technology used not only for vehicle travel but also to power the electric refrigeration system. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
The Dutro Hybrid is Hino’s bestselling light-duty hybrid truck. This new truck now features Collision Damage Reduction Brake System. This is a further evolution of the OEM’s system, which is standard for heavy-duty trucks and large buses.The system helps avoids rear-end collisions with preceding vehicles, and now also supports collision avoidance with stopped vehicles and pedestrians. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Toyota envisages a sustainable society in which hydrogen energy is in widespread use―a society embodied by this concept vehicle. The car’s fuel cell stack can be reused as an electricity generating device, transcending the traditional functions of cars. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
The S-FR concept is a lightweight sports car, pitched as an entry-level model. Featuring a front engine/rear drive architecture, this concept emphasises responsiveness. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Another world premiere from Toyota, this concept, according to the OEM, was designed to explore and emphasise the fundamental appeal of machines – fine craftsmanship, beauty, simplicity, and motion. The KIKAI openly displays the machinery, normally hidden beneath the vehicle body. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Toyota will also show a new taxi for the Japanese market at the Tokyo motor show through a promotional video. The OEM is currently working on developing an updated version of its JPN Taxi Concept. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Along with a host of Japanese debuts, Lexus will reveal a new design concept at the Tokyo motor show. The LF-FC flagship concept offers a peek into the design and technology direction of the brand’s future flagship sedan. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
Quon Vision is UD Trucks’ symbol for its future vision for smart logistics. This truck, a world premiere for UD, focusses on the essential customer areas such as fuel efficiency, uptime and drivability. LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
UD Electric Demonstrator
Another world premiere for UD Trucks is its Electric Demonstrator, a fully electric medium-duty truck. UD has used Volvo Group’s new full electric driveline technology, and has optimised this for a medium-duty truck.LINK TO PRESS RELEASE