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Tokyo just can’t woo Detroit 3

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Tokyo: Jeep made it in 2015, but not this year.

This year’s Tokyo Motor Show is positioning itself as a connected-car showcase of trends “beyond the motor,” but the futuristic theme wasn’t enough to draw the Detroit 3. All three — General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford — are sitting out the biennial event this fall.

Their absence wasn’t a huge surprise when the show’s organizer, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, announced the official roster May 22.

GM and Ford have been no-shows for four straight previous Tokyo shows. Ford no longer even sells cars in Japan; it quit the market in 2016. GM is a niche player, focusing mostly on its luxury Cadillac marque and offerings such as the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro.

At the last show, in 2015, Jeep became the first U.S. brand to display in nearly a decade. But this year, Jeep will take a break, along with the rest of the FCA lineup, including Fiat and Alfa Romeo. FCA Japan said it wants to focus on marketing efforts that deliver a bigger punch.

Jeep is the best-selling U.S. brand in Japan and was the No. 7 import brand overall last year.

“We want them to participate, but, unfortunately, they have not registered,” Hiroto Saikawa, chairman of the manufacturers association, said of the American brands. Saikawa is also CEO of Nissan Motor Co.

The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show runs Oct. 27-Nov. 5.

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