Postcard from Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore: The Cars

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Car shows in Singapore are becoming far and few between, and it is not difficult to understand why. The market here is small and it doesn’t help that the automotive industry has been hit hard lately with all the new implementations regarding loans and taxes.

TAS SG (8)

Still, that did not stop MediaCorp and MUSE Group from bringing Tokyo Auto Salon into Singapore from 12 to 14 April at Marina Bay Sands. 

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The plan was to bring in 20 cars from the actual Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, but there were 19 in the end. I’ve seen them all at Tokyo Auto Salon at Makuhari Messe in Japan earlier in January and it was quite cool seeing them again right here on home soil.

Here are some of them…

Car Sense Toyota Crown:

Car Sense Toyota Crown

The odd KRC RX-7 that looks like a platypus:

KRC RX-7

As much as I like pink, this SIAT Nissan March doesn’t work for me:

SIAT Nissan March

Heh, after I bought the S2000, there seems to be some kind of unspoken affinity between all the other S2000s out there. Hence the Top Fuel S2000 sat very well with me:

Top Fuel S2000

RE Amemiya RX-7:

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You know, this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan was a galore of Toyota 86s and Subaru BRZs; so much so that I thought it should have just been called the 86 Auto Salon. But.. of the 100 86s on display there, only one made it out to Singapore. Boo.

Top Secret Super 86:

Top Secret Super 86

These JDM cars took up only the centre part of the event space (in front of the main stage) and the rest of the exhibition featured local and Malaysian cars.

This was some really weird car that got everyone’s attention:

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Super Modern had some interesting cars too:

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Aloysius’ sick LHB Performance GT-R wowed many visitors as well – have you seen this beast on the Sepang track?

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One third of the event was dedicated to autostyling, where owners customise their cars as far as their imaginations and their wallets stretch. Look at some of them:

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Some people felt that the ticket price of $25 per adult per day wasn’t justified by the cars on display. Other than the 19 cars from Japan, the rest have either been seen before at Super Import Nights in Singapore or Hot Import Nights in Malaysia.

I believe the organisers have made great effort to make this show as big as possible, but as its name - Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore – carries so much significance, I think people are expecting a lot more from the show.

I’ve been lucky enough to go to Tokyo Auto Salon twice (last year and this year) and I was asked for my opinion to compare the Singapore one against the original. I don’t think it’s fair to do that because it just isn’t the same really. I walked 11 event halls (plus the outdoor demo area) in Japan – how is it fair to compare that versus just Halls A, B and C of MBS?

The Japanese carmakers were missing from the show (eg. Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Honda, Subaru) and that made a difference. Japanese aftermarket brands (eg. HKS, Tein, Spoon Sports etc.) and iconic names like Liberty Walk/LB Performance were also absent. I guess the timing is a bit unfortunate – as the government announced the loan curbs and revised tax structure for cars at the end of February, throwing the local automotive industry into limbo.

After all, the Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore is meant to be a taste of what the show is like. Many were probably expecting a lot more than just those 19 cars in the middle section of the halls I guess. It is the first time the show came out of Japan and it was marketed as bringing Tokyo Auto Salon out of Japan to Singapore, so you can’t blame oeople from expecting more.

Well, the Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore seems like not a flash in the pan and their cover photo on Facebook says “See you in 2014″. I assume they are planning to come back… Hopefully this time there will be more influence and involvement from Japan!

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View more of my Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore photos here.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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