TOKYO — The rebranded Tokyo auto show wants to become the "Davos of Mobility."
Imagine a who's who meetup of business leaders from the traditional automotive industry and whiz kids from innovative startups in artificial intelligence, software and renewable energy.
But instead of gathering at a snowy Swiss ski resort, they do it on the Tokyo waterfront.
That is the image floated by organizers of this autumn's Japan Mobility Show.
"We would like to make this show a Davos meeting of mobility," said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida, speaking in his role as a vice chairman of the show's organizer, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. "We are going to showcase the state-of-the-art technology of Japan."
The association has hosted the Tokyo Motor Show since its inception in 1954. But from this year, it is rebranding the expo as the Japan Mobility Show to cast a wider net and generate buzz.
Uchida said the goal is to attract 1 million visitors during its Oct. 25-Nov. 5 run.
The Nissan boss offered the latest vision May 18, during the association's regular monthly briefing.
The Japan Mobility Show aims to include everything from motorcycles to startups and an array of new participants under an "all-industry" banner.
There will also be a showcase called Tokyo Future Tour, promising visitors a peek at what future life will be like for people in Japan's biggest city, with a view beyond cars.
Organizers hope the reboot rekindles international interest in Asia's erstwhile premier auto expo and in Japan as a technology leader. The Tokyo car conclave used to hum with global debuts.
But at the last gathering in 2019, only four international brands bothered to show.
The association will provide more details about the Japan Mobility Show, including a list of participating companies and the show logo, on May 24. Promotional graphics depict flying cars and robotic dogs among the attractions. Media days will be Oct. 25-26, and the show will be held at Tokyo Big Sight, the sprawling convention center on the waterfront that hosted the last Tokyo Motor Show.
In April 2021, the association canceled the biennial Tokyo show scheduled for fall of that year, shutting down the event for the first time in its history because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the show's last gathering, in 2019, Toyota's Akio Toyoda set a goal of attracting 1 million visitors, and the 12-day show finished with more than 1.3 million attendees. That was a 70 percent surge over the 771,200 who visited in 2017, though well below the record of 2.02 million in 1991.