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"Big Three" U.S. automakers not to participate in Tokyo Motor Show.

TOKYO, April 9 Kyodo

The "Big Three" U.S. automakers will not participate in the Tokyo Motor Show in November, Japanese auto industry officials said Tuesday, amid growing complaints that the "closed" Japanese market is holding back sales of U.S. cars.

But their decision not to present their products to consumers in Japan may draw criticism as they are urging the country to open up its auto market if it wishes to participate in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations.

General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC do not plan to take part in the biennial event at which they used to be regular exhibitors. They will be skipping the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show for the third consecutive time since 2009, when GM and Chrysler went bankrupt.

According to the officials of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, which hosts the show, it had not received applications from the three automakers by the deadline at the end of February. A Ford source has cited budget limitations as the reason why it will not participate in the show.

Meanwhile, major European automakers including Volkswagen AG and Audi AG plan to exhibit at the event.

In Japan, imported cars accounted for 7.6 percent of new car sales excluding minivehicles and those made abroad by Japanese automakers in the business year ended March, hitting a record high.

Among imported cars in Japan, European automakers topped the list, while the three major U.S. automakers lagged far behind.

A senior official of a Japanese automaker criticized the U.S. carmakers for being too dependent on trade negotiations, saying, "U.S. automakers lack sales efforts as they sell few fuel-efficient and compact cars that are popular in Japan."
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 16, 2013
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