As the auto industry undergoes a once-in-a-century transformation, JAMA has a shared ambition to create a vibrant future for Japan.
On September 21, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) held an online press conference.
With the Japan Mobility Show set to kick off on October 26—opening to the general public from October 28—what did Chairman Akio Toyoda and his seven vice chairmen have to say?
Sharing Japan’s future vision with the world
Chairman Toyoda (Toyota)
Today, I would like to talk about the Japan Mobility Show, now only a month away.
Let me wind the clock back a little and start with the situation in May 2018, when I was appointed JAMA Chairman for the second time.
The auto industry had just entered a once-in-a-century period of profound transformation sparked by the CASE revolution.
Could cars continue to play a leading role in our mobility society over the next 100 years?
This was the challenge that confronted us, symbolized by the steady decline in attendance at the Tokyo Motor Show.
As JAMA Chairman, I first tackled revamping the Tokyo Motor Show for the 2019 event.
I had just one message for the team involved:
“Let’s put on a motor show that will attract visitors.”
We teamed up with the Economic Council to organize FUTURE EXPO, where visitors could experience the future through cutting-edge Japanese technology.
From drone shows to e-motorsports competitions, we gave the green light to every exciting idea that the team wanted to try.
As a result, we received 1.3 million visitors and brought smiles to many faces.
Just two months later, however, we were faced with an unprecedented crisis: COVID-19. Our daily lives were upturned as travel and gatherings were shunned.
But it was not all negative.
For us in the auto industry, we came to appreciate that the mobility everyone took for granted was, in fact, sustained by the work of many people.
This brought the 5.5. million people in Japan’s auto industry closer together. We began to connect and act as one.
In everyday life, our need for alternative communication methods led to dramatic advances in new technologies and services that allow us to connect, such as virtual meetings and food delivery.
Now, on the other side of the pandemic, we are committed to taking the Tokyo Motor Show to new heights. This year, we are transforming the event into the Japan Mobility Show.
From cars to mobility. From Tokyo to Japan.
The emphasis is on “Japan.” This country possesses many incredible technologies and many business leaders who continue to take on the challenge of creating the future.
We want to provide a platform where such people and technologies come together and connect. We want to share Japan’s vision for the future with the world. That was the idea behind the new name.
This year’s show will feature more than 400 participating companies, the most ever.
By matching startups with established companies, we also hope to provide opportunities for new business ventures.
At the same time, we have planned many exciting sessions, including the Tokyo Future Tour, where visitors can experience how mobility will shape our future cities, and entertainment powered by hydrogen energy.
The theme for this year is: “Discover a future you can’t wait to navigate!”
In the coming days, we will share more information on those appearing at the show, including future mobility exhibitors, participating artists, and discussion panel guests. We hope you will join us at the venue to discover a future that you can’t wait to navigate.
Similarly, the JAMA, led by the people here today, will do its utmost to ensure the show’s success as we look to exceed one million visitors once again.
I myself want to spend as much time as possible at the venue, helping to create the cycle of smiles and gratitude.
I believe that the auto industry stands united as one, and the future is something we create together.
We hope the media will support us in our efforts to make a brighter future for Japan.
Over 400 companies come together for Japan
The session was then opened up to questions from the press. First, Vice Chairman Makoto Uchida answered a query about preparations for the Japan Mobility Show.
Vice Chairman Uchida (Nissan)
This year’s event goes beyond the auto industry with over 400 participating companies, a record number that includes startups and businesses from other sectors.
The show will feature three big drawcards, the main one being the Tokyo Future Tour. We are bringing together the latest technologies from around Japan, not just the auto industry, so that visitors can experience the future of life in Tokyo and the rest of the country.
Meanwhile, the Japan Future Session will feature in-depth discussions about the future of mobility, with topics that will appeal to children and adults alike.
Third is the Startup Future Factory, an opportunity for future mobility startups to meet other companies with whom they can partner and grow together.
At the same time, we are also preparing a platform for matching startups with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and suppliers, along with content to make the work of these startups accessible to the general public.
One of our new initiatives is the H2 Energy Festival.
The festival will feature on-stage live music and comedy performances powered entirely by hydrogen energy. We hope this will help bring hydrogen closer to visitors’ everyday lives.
With one month to go, company heads are leading the way in preparations and working hard to ensure the best possible event.
Chairman Toyoda followed up by giving his thoughts on the show.
Chairman Toyoda (Toyota)
With motor show attendance declining around the world, (last time) Tokyo alone drew over 1.3 million. Among the many different trade shows, we wanted to prove that a car-focused event could attract a million visitors and teamed up with the Economic Council to showcase Japanese technologies and talent.
Building on that momentum, this time, we want to energize all of Japan. We want people to believe in the auto industry. To that end, we are determined to bring in more than 1 million visitors.
In our Motor Show days, the event’s main role was as a place for world premieres and new car unveilings.
This time, we changed the name to “Mobility Show” because we believe that in the face of challenges such as autonomous driving and carbon neutrality, the future will not be created by the auto industry alone but by all of us, including users.
Rather than forging ahead with only existing companies, we believe we need to put out the call to all those who want to be involved in building the future.
I believe that the unprecedented number of 400 participating companies speaks volumes, and that many stories will emerge during the event.
In naming it the Japan Mobility Show, we wanted to say, “Let’s create the future together,” and “Let’s energize Japan” through automobiles.
In the following comments, the vice chairmen echoed the importance of cooperation.