Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
But I’m not sure I was quite prepared for what I witnessed here on the second day of the media preview days.
Sitting here in the press centre where there are nearly 200 work spaces set up, you could almost hear a pin drop. Most of the seats are empty, and there’s only the low hum of hard drive motors escaping from the laptops of the few of us left here.
As a car industry reporter, I’ve been to dozens of motor shows on three continents over the past seven years. At the media centres, it’s usually a mad rush to grab a spot or a LAN cable connection; and there’s no guarantee someone wouldn’t pull the cord anyway, if you leave your PC unattended for more than half an hour.
If only Extreme Cost-Cutting were a sport.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors today joined a growing string of automakers pulling out of cash-draining motorsports activities with an exit from the Dakar Rally. It’s part of the company’s attempt to squeeze out any cost savings it can, and it seems no effort is too small for consideration.
At today’s news conference to announce third-quarter financial results, the master of ceremonies opened with the following remark: “You may have noticed there are no refreshments at your seats today. This is part of our effort to reduce spending.”
Former Subaru rally driver Yoshio Takaoka readily admits his business was a polluter and now wants to make up for his “sins” behind the wheel.
Takaoka is promoting the zero-emission “Girasole Elettrica” in Japan, one of a number of electric cars on display this week at a Tokyo expo.