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“Outta’ My Mind on a Saturday Moanin’”

The Tokyo Motor Show at the Tokyo Big Sight.

Unabashedly, the Tokyo Motor Show aims to become the top technology motor show worldwide.

The 44th show theme is based on the concept of “Technology + Fantasy.”

While at our North American International Auto Show, we like to say “The cars are the stars,” at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show it seems the fantasy and the future take center stage.

Our trip and broadcasts from Japan are sponsored by Toyota and Aisin, and they are clearly two of the biggest players on display. Toyota President Akio Toyoda started his presentation here not talking about Toyotas but about Fords. He asked us to think back 100 years and he pointed out that about 15 million horses were at work in America ferrying around people and goods.

Then came the Ford Model T, and apparently within a span of about 20 years almost all of those horses were replaced by cars.

President Toyoda wondered aloud why people chose cars over horses? He felt there were probably a lot of reasons but the one he found most compelling is that it was simply more fun to get around by car.

He went on to explain that Toyota’s efforts to bring all of their customers the “Wow” factor was there at the beginning and continues today.

He then got many “Wows” from everyone attending his news conference when he unexpectedly brought to the stage Japanese baseball superstar Ichiro Suzuki.

Noticeably absent in what would usually be a proud rollout of a new line up of cars and trucks, were any vehicles at all.

More from Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto next week.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.

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