TOKYO -- BMW and Audi will skip this year’s Tokyo auto show, leaving Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz as the only major foreign luxury automaker to showcase its models in Japan’s biggest auto industry event.
Volkswagen, PSA Group and Volvo Cars will also be absent this year, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, which organizes the event. In the past, the companies were regular participants at the show, which will be held from Oct. 24 until Nov. 4.
Mercedes, however, won’t be the only foreign participant. Renault and Alpina will be attending the biennial show, according to JAMA.
The waning interest comes despite imported-car sales rising in Japan. They climbed 4.3 percent last year and more than 30 percent in the past decade, according to JAMA figures.
But Japan has long been losing appeal for carmakers, especially since the 2008-09 financial crisis.
U.S. car companies such as Ford Motor haven’t returned since, according to JAMA.
A VW representative said the group has no new models to showcase for the Japanese market, adding that this year’s absence doesn’t mean that it will continue to skip the event. A BMW representative said the company plans to hold its own event.