The recent Tokyo Motor Show has ended, they’ve upped stakes and have now come to the home and heart land of the Toyota Motor Company. The biennial Nagoya Motor Show is on from Thursday the 12th to Sunday the 15th at Port Messe, Nagoya Port (via the Aonami Line from Nagoya Station) (JETRO). According to JETRO, it received 203,900 visitors to see a total of 93 exhibitors, including local and foreign car makers. The most interesting exhibitors in 2011 were Nissan and Suzuki. The most boring, other than Toyota, were the Japanese highway companies showing off their sexy highway inspection cars and cleaners.
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This Photo of the Week (POTW) is from the previous biennial 17th Nagoya Motor Show. Here, a model introduces a Suzuki concept car. The Nagoya Motor Shows starts this Thursday (12th Dec) and finishes Sunday (15th Dec). This show ought to be considered significant, especially as Nagoya is the home and heartland of the Toyota Motor Company and its parent company, sister companies, and subsidiary companies. This central region makes a large portion of Mitsubishi cars, and the components that are sold for the assembly of Honda, BMW, Mercedes, Ford, GM, and many other international brands. However, the Nagoya Motor Show little reported internationally and I’ve seen no effective coverage of it on the internet media, and is overshadowed by the Tokyo Motor Show… yet.
Below is a selection images taken at the 17th annual Nagoya Motor Show. It was interesting to see the European and American makers were in one building, and the Japanese were in the other. There were no Korean makers present, and the Americans were represented by Ford, Chevrolet, and Teslar, though they were in with the Europeans, their exhibits were mainly fillers, making the viewers have to walk past to see the next European display. The European makers were displaying what they already have available in Japan with an eye to make sales, rather than showing new stuff. Maserati and the Mercedes SLS AMG got a lot of keen attention, but the most serious attention went to Audi and Jaguar (and perhaps BMW, I didn’t notice them).
Of the Japanese contingent, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, and Subaru were keen to show their new concepts that caught the interest of the crowds. Especially, Honda which was near the entrance that got the crowds as they first walked in, but Nissan got the crowd staying and waiting to see more of the Pivo3 (pictured in the slideshow below). The model who drove the Pivo3 in figure of 8’s in the small space had a look of novel enjoyment on her face as she drove and demonstrated an elegant, lady-like way of entering and exiting the Pivo3. I suppose she knew that she could see herself on YouTube that night, if she hadn’t done so the night before. The Nissan ES Flow was drooled over, whilst the current Nissan models, especially the Leaf were keenly sat in and caressed. Suzuki wowed the crowd with the Regina, which has more than a passing resemblance to an angry cartoon character (pictured in the slideshow below). The model introducing the Suzuki display appeared to be on remote control. She said a few lines, paused, and when a bell rang she then announced the next few lines. I didn’t see the audio book she was reading from, so she was either hypnotised or a convincing human-like robot (also pictured below).
The Toyota corner was pretty easy to walk around as the crowds came, saw, and then returned to the Suzuki and Nissan displays. Nagoya is the hometown of Toyota, and to see Toyota show only cars that are already available for sale, is disappointing. The new Lexus looks like the designers took inspiration from both Audi and BMW, whilst the new Toyota 86 sports coupe looks like it was designed by someone who owns or loves Aston Martins. Subaru was also thick with crowds, but because of the crowds and my low interest, I didn’t bother rubbing shoulders with everyone there. Daihatsu was devoid of people, and their non-operating concept vehicles caught no imaginations at all. Furthermore, their concept vehicles looks like they are two generations behind Nissan and Suzuki.
The Nissan Pivo3 does a figure of 8 demonstrating its remarkable turning circle in a small exhibit space. At the Nagoya Motor Show, Nissan’s exhibit with cars like this was by far more popular with the crowds than Toyota’s lonely corner. This electric Pivo3 concept includes self parking, where the driver leaves the car in front of a venue and the car locates a vacant parking spot through a central computer system then parks itself. The car park would also include an automatic recharge plate to be located under the car. The owner would then press a button on his or her phone and the car would drive itself to the closest convenient location to where ever the owner’s phone is located. However, you need to hope that your car can find a parking spot and recharge point before the the batteries run too low. Nissan also wishes to emphasis the ease of getting in and out of the car, where you don’t need to put one leg in, park your butt, and then the other. With this car, you simply walk in.
Nissan is emphasising that it is developing a total interconnected system for the home and cars, where the home can use the power stored in the car, and the car can be recharged from the home. The crowds were interested in the Nissan Leaf which is already on sale, and a new sports car that looks far more exciting than the Toyota 86.
Suzuki’s new concept car that is reportedly able to achieve a stunning 32km/l, albeit with a 800cc (0.8lt) turbo charged engine. It looks great, but it looks like an angry cartoon character… an Angry ‘Zuki?