[YesAuto Quick Review] “Open Future” is the theme of this Tokyo Motor Show, literally translated as “Open Future”. As we all know, the Japanese auto market has a pivotal position in the global auto market. For example, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and other well-known manufacturers, their development trends also foretell the future development direction of global automobiles to a large extent. But it’s very interesting that from the product level, Japan’s domestic car market seems to have a very clear gap with the rest of the world. Many interesting K-Cars, local models, etc. are also missing from most countries, so they often become A topic that fans talk about.
Therefore, the Tokyo Motor Show held every two years has naturally become a good opportunity for us to have a deep understanding of this unique market. Judging from the products and concepts promoted and displayed by each brand at this auto show, automation and intelligence are the directions emphasized by each brand, and Japanese manufacturers that have always held a conservative attitude towards electric vehicles also proposed at this auto show. More ideas for future electrification development. So, what are the interesting things to watch at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show? What are the characteristics and differences of the Japanese market compared to domestic ones? What achievements did the participating major manufacturers show around the theme of “Open Future” at this auto show? Let us take a look at this auto show observation together.
Quickly understand the key points of this article:
1. As one of the world's five major auto shows, there are only 17 exhibitors at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show;
2. This year's auto show Toyota made great efforts to create a “cyberpunk” style, and all of this was actually based on reality;
3. The JDM performance car is gradually lonely, which makes people feel embarrassed;
4. There is no single reason why young people in Japan are indifferent to cars.
● What brands are available at the Tokyo Motor Show? What car is on display? How is it different from China?
Overall Overview: The 2019 Tokyo Motor Show where only 17 car brands will participate
If you want to measure from the number of participating brands, this Tokyo Motor Show can be said to be very “unpredictable”-excluding parts suppliers, there are only 17 car/motorcycle manufacturers participating in the exhibition. This includes two motorcycle brands, Kawasaki and Yamaha, and three truck/commercial vehicle brands (UD Trucks/Hino/Isuzu), so there are a total of 12 passenger car brands that we are more familiar with. Among these 12 brands, the only European brands are Renault, Alpine and Mercedes-Benz, plus a modified brand ALPINA, and the rest are Japanese local brands. It can be seen that compared with the huge domestic auto show or the well-known European/American auto show, such a lineup is indeed a bit “shabby”, because Japan's domestic auto industry has a high degree of development, and its market environment is relatively “closed.” Therefore, although overseas brands are not uncommon on the streets of Japan, in the auto show, which is of great significance for displaying products, the particularity of the Japanese market may have led to the collective absence of overseas brands. But then again, does the lack of exhibitors at the Tokyo Motor Show mean boring? The actual situation is really not the case.
Booth level: booth design with its own specialties, Toyota is especially “cyberpunk”
For an auto show, each brand's booth is used to display its own facade, and themed booth design can better convey the content of the brand to the audience in the first time. At this Tokyo Motor Show, the booth designs of various brands are also quite distinctive. For example, the booths of brands such as Suzuki and Daihatsu adopt a lifestyle-oriented style. The concept cars they exhibited are also based on more future travel plans. The theme; while the design of Mazda and Lexus booths pay more attention to texture, and they also released an electric car at this auto show; the overall style of Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi can also be classified into one category, except for the key release In addition to the concept car, Mitsubishi and Nissan exhibited their production cars of various levels, while Honda is mainly based on K-Car. At the same time, Honda has also opened up special exhibition areas for its motorcycles and motorsports to show their profoundness. Racing heritage.
Among the many booths, the most special one was the Toyota brand. At the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota, whose exhibition area is independent of many other brands, can be said to shine. Putting aside the experience area outside the exhibition hall, Toyota has set up two exhibition areas for itself at this auto show-the main booth at the Aomi Exhibition and the “Future EXPO” theme exhibition at Mega Web, and they have one The special thing in common-there is no production car. Yes, you read that right. At this auto show, Toyota showed us a large number of concept cars, and the design of the main booth is also very “cyberpunk”, with projections, screens and technological lights as the main elements , And each concept model also complements each other.
And it’s very interesting that the new generation of Toyota Yaris, which debuted at this auto show, is a blockbuster model that debuted in the world. We haven’t seen it in any Toyota exhibition halls. Finally, thanks to the unremitting efforts of our colleagues, we Finally found it in the outlet next to the exhibition hall.
Product level: What cars are on display at the Japan Auto Show?
Speaking of international auto shows, apart from the models that we usually don’t have access to in China, what everyone pays the most attention to is the curious concept cars of major brands. The Tokyo Motor Show this year is also very appropriate. Catering to the theme of “Open Future”. On the whole, most of the concept cars exhibited at this auto show foreshadow new ways of travel in the future with styles such as intelligence, automation, networking and sharing. For example, Toyota exhibited a series of concept models such as e-Palette, e-Trans, e-4me, e-RACER, LQ and Ultra-compact BEV series at this auto show. They are aimed at passenger cars, public transportation and even racing cars. The field shows Toyota's understanding of the future of mobility. At the same time, the various vehicles exhibited by Toyota at this auto show will also be put into practical use in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, from small electric scooters designed for personal travel to large unmanned buses for connection. Toyota's concept It is to add every step of the Olympic Games and even daily travel to Toyota's transportation vehicles. This meticulous layout is really amazing.
In terms of other brands, Daihatsu, Suzuki and Nissan have incorporated the concept of K-Car into concept cars, such as Suzuki Hustler, Nissan IMk, and concept cars such as Daihatsu Waku Waku and Tsumu Tsumu. As a unique product of Japan's domestic market, K-Car has always been a topic that everyone talks about. At this auto show, Suzuki, Honda, and Daihatsu are the most concentrated brands for K-Car. The themes and overall styles of these three brands are more life-oriented. From the actual observation on the spot, we can see that, except for sports cars like Daihatsu Copen GR Sport, most Japanese K-Cars are MPV models shaped like small boxes. Since the four wheels are located almost at the four corners of the body, Their internal space is very impressive. In addition, it is worth noting that for these cars with little space, the almost abnormal space utilization is also one of the characteristics of this type of car.
But what I have to say is that K-Car is the most distinctive and dominant market in the Japanese market. It seems that we did not see Japanese manufacturers trying to “open the future” in this field at this auto show. For example, a model like Nissan IMk, in addition to the appearance of the concept car and some automatic driving functions, we cannot see from it the Japanese manufacturers' thinking about the future of K-Car. Such limitations are not only reflected in the Nissan brand. Perhaps we can see the future of K-Car from several concept cars of Daihatsu, but as a cheap product, can K-Car be able to afford those smart, interconnected technology equipment? Regarding the future of K-Car, Japanese brand manufacturers may need more thinking.
● Attitudes of various manufacturers towards electric vehicles
Japanese car manufacturers seem to have always maintained a relatively conservative attitude towards launching pure electric products on the market. From this auto show, we can clearly see that although major manufacturers have a similar understanding of “Open Future”, There are still differences in the degree of enthusiasm for launching electric vehicle products. Among them, brands such as Lexus and Mazda responded positively to the electric vehicle market at this auto show. Lexus released the LF-30 concept car at this auto show. The “L” of the new car represents Lexus, and “F “Represents the future (future), and “30” represents the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the brand. The launch of the new car demonstrates Lexus's vision of electrification. At the same time, Lexus will also bring a new electric production car at the Guangzhou Auto Show. At the same time, Mazda also released the Mazda MX-30 at this auto show. The new car is an SUV model with pure electric power. But the first model is a left-hand drive European version. That is to say, even if the Mazda made its global debut in Japan, its main market is basically in Japan, but for the European market. Even this model will take the lead in 2020. Listed in Europe. Combined with the aforementioned Honda e, which debuted at the European Auto Show, we can indeed see the progress of these local Japanese manufacturers in terms of electrification, and these electrified products do not seem to be born for the Japanese market. This has to be thought-provoking. At the same time that the global market is turning to electrification, Japan may not be fully prepared yet.
In addition, because it is more divorced from reality, most of the concept cars at the auto show also use pure electric drive. But don’t think that the concept car is “I can’t help you in the rain”. Through this auto show, we can see a very obvious trend-some brands have integrated the concepts of electrification and automation into the “mobile cockpit for efficient travel”. Vehicle forms, such as Suzuki HANARE concept car, Daihatsu ICO ICO concept car, Toyota e-4me, Ultra-compact BEV business Concept concept car, etc. The combination of electric vehicles + autonomous driving cockpit may be the understanding of Japanese brands for future travel modes.
At the same time, some brands still maintain a relatively conservative attitude towards electrification. For example, Honda at this auto show, their most important model at this auto show is of course the new generation of Fit, but the only electric car on the booth is the Honda e model, which has been launched overseas this year. Honda is at the press conference. The above also stated that the hybrid system called e:HEV will be mainly promoted in the future. Mitsubishi is more similar to Honda. This time Mitsubishi released the MI-TECH concept car. The car uses a gas turbine to provide power to the battery and is powered by four-wheel motors. This design allows the four wheels to operate independently, providing this SUV model with better off-road performance, but the use of the extended-range hybrid powertrain makes Mitsubishi not have a pure electric model at this auto show.
● The survival status of Japanese performance cars
After talking about the unbelievable concept car, let's continue to talk about the topic that fans may be interested in-Japanese performance cars. As we all know, the Japanese performance cars that flourished in the 1990s are now in decline. Except for a few brands and models that are still continuing, those classic JDM performance cars have now become feelings. So at this auto show, what other brands of performance models can we see? I think the most sentimental among them is the Subaru WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition. As the last batch of models equipped with a 2.0T horizontally opposed turbocharged engine code-named EJ20, the new car will be sold in a limited number of 555 units. At the same time, Subaru did not bring new concept models at this auto show. Except for the key display of the LEVORG prototype and the VIZIV Adrenaline concept car that has been unveiled many times, the rest are mass-produced models, which also makes the Subaru booth very “nostalgic.” Up.
In terms of other brands, Nissan exhibited the 2019 GT-R Nismo, GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition and 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition models at this auto show, but these three cars were all debuted at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. , And this time is only their official appearance on the mainland. Since the launch of the first-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R of the KPGC10 in the 1969s, 50 years have passed since the current sixth-generation model, but it is very interesting that this generation of GT-R was first launched in 2007, and it has been 12 years since then. Years of history, accounting for nearly a quarter of the entire car history, and the same problem also appeared on the 370Z, this exaggerated replacement cycle seems to have also witnessed the decline of JDM performance cars.
In addition, Honda's performance car at the booth is only NSX; Suzuki is a brand-new Speedwing special; it has developed the Copen GR Sport; Mitsubishi, Mazda and Lexus have no new or recently launched performance cars. It can be seen that the decline of Japanese performance cars seems inevitable, and most of the performance cars of Japanese brands have no continuation. On the one hand, the reason can be attributed to the decline of the Japanese local auto market itself, and at the same time, the performance car culture that was once admired by people has gradually dissipated with the change of the role of the car as a product, which is unavoidable.
● What kind of people are watching the auto show?
At the exhibition hall, we also saw posters of the auto show with virtual characters as the theme. The publicity ambassador of this Tokyo Motor Show is the famous Japanese virtual idol Kizuna AI (nickname: Aijiang). The reason why the official use of virtual characters as “mascots” is presumably to attract more young people to the exhibition, but the actual situation at the scene is still mostly elderly people. Of course, it may be because the first day of the public is Friday. Although there are a lot of people to visit, most of them seem to be of a certain age, and many of them seem to be between 40-50 years old. Therefore, it seems that we can think that Japan's ageing society has a large proportion of elderly people. At the same time, young people do not have much interest in vehicles. The high cost of use and maintenance has further discouraged them from cars.
In order to verify the above inference, I collected some local people's views on cars during my stay in Japan. Although there are only a few people in the sample, these young people around the age of 25 almost unanimously stated that they would not consider buying a car. Although buying a new car is not very expensive, the taxes, parking fees, and later use fees required to purchase a car are all things that need to be considered. In addition, they don’t have much demand for vehicles. There is a public service anywhere in Tokyo. Transportation can be used, so buying a car becomes a very unnecessary thing. In addition, a Chinese in Japan who did not want to be named also said that although he bought a second-hand JDM performance car in Japan because of his preference for Japanese culture, he would not be willing to drive if he needed to go to Tokyo for work. In this way, the interest in the car itself and the cost of using the car have become negative conditions for Japanese young people to pay attention to the car, which has led to the gradual decline of the Japanese car market and car culture in recent years.
Full text summary:
As one of the five major auto shows recognized by the “World Automobile Industry International Association” and generally recognized by the international community, the Tokyo Motor Show has shown us the development direction of the automotive industry and has also given us a richer understanding of automobiles. Although the current Tokyo Motor Show is not strong in the lineup, it does well interpret the theme of “Open Future”, that is, the major manufacturers' thinking and understanding of the future. In this auto show, we can see that automation, intelligence, connectivity, and sharing are concepts that major manufacturers are more respected-brands such as Nissan, Mitsubishi and other brands use more driving assistance and autonomous driving systems When it comes to mass-produced models, Suzuki and Daihatsu have shown more advanced concept cars with automatic cockpits. The most interesting thing in this auto show is Toyota, from single-person smart cockpit to multi-person travel concept MPV, from automated freight vehicles to smart public transportation, and even virtual concept racing cars such as e-RACER. Here comes Toyota's concept of future intelligence and electrification.
But having said that, due to the peculiarities of the Japanese market, we can still see the gap between the Japanese market and the global auto market, which also led to the problem of the number of exhibitors at this auto show. At the same time, the attention of young people in Japan to automobiles is gradually weakening. On the one hand, they have no special interest in automobiles, and on the other hand, they lack actual demand for automobiles. This has led to the gradual development of the Japanese automobile market and automobile culture. Decline. On the whole, the concepts and concepts released at this Tokyo Motor Show do reveal to us a smarter future. Therefore, Japanese automakers have provided more advanced concepts to the world, but for their home markets, what kind of future will consumers' gradual indifference towards cars lead to? Everything needs time to answer. Well, this issue of “Auto Show Observation” is over here. What do you want to express about the Tokyo Motor Show and Japanese cars? Netizens are welcome to actively discuss in the comment area, and we will see you in the next issue.