Carlos Ghosn: Due to the late arrival of infrastructure, there will be a slight delay in the success of the EV. Fuel cell cars remain grounded

Ghosn close - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

tmsbannerNissan’s and Renault’s co-CEO Carlos Ghosn famously (and some claim recklessly) projected 1.5 million electric vehicles to be sold between Nissan and Renault when 2016 rolls around.

“Was that optimistic? Obviously it was,” Ghosn granted at the Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan and Renault combined have so sold 120,000 electric vehicles. Nevertheless, Ghosn maintains the 1.5 million target, just not by 2016. [Continue Reading]

Concepts galore: Around the world of notional cars, in two long Tokyo days

Nissan IDx Freeflow - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

tmsbannerMy friend Martin Koelling, the Handelsblatt’s Tokyo correspondent, is despondent. The Tokyo Motor Show does not have enough wasabi for Martin’s developed taste. “In the past, you could see the future from here, as far out as 12 years,” Martin grouches as we walk the show floor in search of headline material. “These days, you barely get a glimpse of the next model generation.” Despair not, there are plenty of futuristic displays to be found, if you just look hard enough.

With that, we bring you the concepts of the Tokyo Motor Show.

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Where Detroit sees a closed market, Tesla sees open-minded Japanese customers

Tesla booth - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

tmsbannerTesla is the only U.S. carmaker that busts the American embargo of the Tokyo Motor Show. Despite its rich $15 billion market cap, Tesla showed up in Tokyo with a rather low-rent booth, tucked into a dark corner of the show’s West hall. On display are one and a half cars: A Model S, and a chassis.

Tesla doesn’t share the closed minded close market opinions of the Detroit triumvirate. [Continue Reading]

Liberated by China, Sweden’s Volvo returns to Japan, where imports boom

Volvo booth Tokyo - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

tmsbannerAfter a seven year forced absence, Volvo returns to the Tokyo Motor Show. American carmakers shunned the show in 2008, blaming carmageddon, but continued their boycott when business picked up again, claiming that the Japanese market is closed, and hence not worth their effort.  Back then, Volvo was owned by Ford, and had to do as told by the parent.
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Live pictures of Toyota’s hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car

Toyota FCV -3- Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

tmsbannerAt the Daily Kanban, we have been all over Toyota’s fuel cell car, actually, we have been in one long before it broke cover. We also did show you pictures of the prototype. What else is left to do? Show you the real thing as on display at the Tokyo Motor Show. [Continue Reading]

Young people lost their appetite for cars? Nissan has a cure

Nissan IDx 1 - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

tmsbannerYoung people allegedly losing their enthusiasm for the car is all over the media. In Europe and Japan, automakers have been aware of the issue for decades. Not because young people are losing their enthusiasm. It’s because in the late 60’s, early 70’s, now older people in Japan and northern Europe lost their enthusiasm for making babies. Those missing babies now turn into missing customers in the showrooms. Which, in turn, makes it necessary to sell more cars to younger people to make up for the lack of older ones. At the Tokyo Motor Show Nissan shows a concept car targeted at what Nissan calls the “Digital Natives.”

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This Porsche Panamera is a bit of a stretch

Porsche Panamera Tutrbo S Executive -1- Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

tmsbannerBelying the rumor that to be successful in Japan, one has to sell bonsai cars, Porsche debuts in Tokyo its (most likely) longest car ever. [Continue Reading]

Audi sees red. At Mazda. Mazda sees red. At Audi.

Audi red - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt
tmsbannerSomeone at Audi had a great idea for the Tokyo Motor Show: “How about we only show red cars in our booth? Talk about maximized visual impact.” It was a great idea. Until this morning. [Continue Reading]