Ford, GM, and FCA Will Skip Connected Car-Oriented Tokyo Motor Show

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【Summary】The Detroit 3, which include Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, have announced that they will not attend the Tokyo Motor Show.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jun 02, 2017 9:00 AM PT
Ford, GM, and FCA Will Skip Connected Car-Oriented Tokyo Motor Show

Every single automaker is working on some sort of technology for autonomous vehicles. Whether its hardware, which includes cameras, or software, like the brains of a self-driving car, automakers are hard at work on embracing the autonomous future that's coming. 

Detroit 3 Are Researching An Autonomous Future

Ford, for instance, is aiming towards having its first autonomous fleet on the road within the next 10 years and has partnered with artificial intelligence startup Argo AI to help the goal become attainable. General Motors is focusing on a Tesla Autopilot competitor, which is being referred to as "Super Cruise," that's expected to come out later this year. FCA, on the other hand, has given Waymo access to its Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans, solidifying its role as a supplier.

Clearly, the Detroit 3, are all embracing for a driverless future, but, as a new report from Automotive News, points out, all of the aforementioned automakers have announced plans to skip this year's Tokyo Motor Show. The Tokyo Motor Show, as the outlet claims, is aligning itself as a place for automakers and companies to showcase connected-car tech. 

While the decision to skip the large, biennial event may be shocking to some, Automotive News claims that the news isn't exactly coming out of left field. General Motors and Ford, as the outlet points out, hasn't attended the Tokyo Motor Show for four years in a row. This year will be both of the automaker's fifth. 

Is Choosing Not To End A Big Deal?

Ford's decision to not attend the Tokyo Motor Show for a fifth consecutive year isn't a surprise, as the automaker pulled out of Japan in 2016, reports Automotive News. General Motors does sell a few vehicles in the country, but those are niche products aimed at making Cadillac more of a household name. GM, though, does sell the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette in Japan. 

FCA's move to pull out of the Tokyo Motor Show after attending in 2015 is more peculiar than the other two automakers. Two years ago, Jeep, as the outlet claims, became one of the first U.S. brands to display a vehicle in approximately 10 years. But now, FCA wants to focus on larger marketing efforts. 

"We want them to participate but unfortunately, they have not registered," JAMA Chairman Hiroto Saikawa said of the American brands. The Jeep brand is a hit in Japan, as the rugged SUVs have become the best-selling U.S. brand in the country. 

Saikawa, who is also CEO of Nissan Motor Co., understands why the Tokyo Motor Show isn't a must-attend show. "If you're expecting many world premieres, it's not likely to be the main focus in the future," he stated. "We have to consider how to evolve and be clever in how we make an appeal." 

To that end, 2017 will see the Tokyo Motor Show move towards a technology-forward show. As Automotive News reports, the motor show will emphasize mobility and even showcase a Tokyo Connected Lab. The latter is a kind of "future mobility" theme park, reports the outlet, where visitors can directly interact with autonomous vehicles. 

With the entire automotive industry moving towards connected, driverless vehicles, it's unfortunate to see American automakers skip a show that's looking towards the future. 

via: Automotive News

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