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2005 Tokyo Motor Show, Part VII


TCC's Auto Show Index by TCC Team (10/3/2005)
Our coverage of the world's major auto shows, year to year.

2005 Tokyo Motor Show Index by TCC Team (10/18/2005)


 

Giugiaro’s Ferrari Celebration

2005 Ferrari GG50

2005 Ferrari GG50

Enlarge Photo
One of the most striking cars on display at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show was also among the most difficult to find, tucked well away from the major Japanese and import automakers’ stands. The Ferrari GG50 concept car brings together two of the Italian auto industry’s best-known names in a rare, but well-received collaboration. Based on the 612 Scaglietti, the two-door show vehicle is the work of legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro, and designed to mark the 50th anniversary of his Turin design house, ItalDesign. The GG50 prototype is just a little shorter than the production 612, with a fastback tail that conceals the hatchback’s lid. The show car’s rear seats have been modified to fold down, creating a large, flat cargo compartment — a serious shortfall in the actual Scaglietti. Giugiaro’s design retains the big V-12. ItalDesign did make some other interior changes, intended to improve ergonomics. The exercise was sanctioned by Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo, though no production plans are in place, according to officials from both companies.

 

 

Tokyo’s Simulated Enthusiasm

 

2005 Tokyo Show gamers

2005 Tokyo Show gamers

Enlarge Photo
Concept cars, those fantasies in chrome, have traditionally been the big draw at the Tokyo Motor Show. But it’s hard to match the imagination of digital designers, and these days, the biennial show draws a large crowd to its virtual fantasy booths. All along the wide mezzanine, crowds jostle for time at the various racing and rally video game centers, with their like-real controllers and oversize displays. Why not, in a city where dense traffic makes it hard to drive at more than a crawl, even in a Ferrari or Lamborghini. “I’m amazed at how well we do in this country, considering there’s really no place to drive our cars the way they’re designed,” gaped the CEO of a European supercar maker. “Maybe this is the only way they’ll really ever experience what it’s like.”

 

 

Ghosn Sees “Terrible” October

 

Carlos Ghosn Tokyo 2005

Carlos Ghosn Tokyo 2005

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Though it’s still more than a week before manufacturers wrap up and report U.S. sales figures, it’s become clear that October will be a “terrible” month, according to Carlos Ghosn. The CEO of both Nissan and its French alliance partner, Renault, he glumly said he is “not very bullish on the U.S. market.” In a media briefing at the Tokyo Motor Show, Ghosn said it looks like industry sales will be down about 30 percent, if the first half of October is any indication. Nissan is doing slightly better than average, he added. With sales down about 20 percent, the Japanese maker should actually see a modest market share gain. Preliminary industry reports suggest that Detroit’s automakers will be hardest hit, reflecting a variety of factors, such as payback from employee-pricing programs, and the impact of rising fuel prices on SUV sales. But despite growing pessimism, Ghosn insisted, “I think the Big Three are coming back. I would not discount the Big Three too fast. This is a story of turnaround. They will react and come back.”

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