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Byline: Aida Sevilla-Mendoza
(First in a series)
THE BIENNIAL Tokyo Motor Show, which began in 1964, has always been rated as one of the most important international car expos in the world. But this year, due to the persistent global economic crisis and resulting slump in automobile sales in Japan, the number of participants in the 41st Tokyo Motor Show (TMS) fell to less than half of that in 2007.
Noting that the market for motor vehicles in China has outpaced Japans and may soon be bigger than North Americas, major European and American auto makers as well as the Korean companies skipped the 2009 TMS this month in favor of the Shanghai Auto Show last April. Only Britains Lotus and Germanys Alpina came to …