Tuesday Morning Auto News, Jan 16, 2018

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BMW broke yet another sales record in a market that we are told is closed

BMW’s Kronschnabl presents yet another record year (c) Bertel Schmitt

Recently, Detroit’s previously strident rhetoric about the allegedly “closed market” Japan quieted down a bit. This after a series of articles with car importer after car importer showing that the “closed market” story is a blatant lie. Japan in fact has one of the world’s most open car markets, mostly due to American pressure. Zero percent tariff. 5,000 cars per year and model can be brought in with next to no paperwork. Try that in the U.S.A., where Detroit’s cash cow, the light utility vehicle, is protected by a 25 percent tariff, and a huge wall of other trade barriers.

Today, I could revisit the story, when Peter Kronschnabl, CEO of BMW Group Japan, presented his 2017 results, and yet another sales record.

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Monday Morning Auto News, Jan 15, 2018

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Monster gallery: The ladies of the Tokyo Auto Salon 2018

Photographers make the pilgrimage all the way to Chiba. Picture (c) Bertel Schmitt

Each year in January, the world’s craziest car show takes place in Tokyo. The Tokyo Auto Salon is probably the last car show on earth that shows more girls than cars.  In America and Europe, ladies in pantsuits have long taken the place of booth babes. In China, where undress ruled until 2012, all car shows are buttoned-up.

The Tokyo Auto Salon appears to be the last hold-out against the Victorian age that seems to have car shows around the world in its iron grip. Click “Continue reading” for our huge gallery.

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