U.S. automakers to skip Tokyo Motor Show again as China steals spotlight

America’s top automakers will skip the Tokyo Motor Show again, raising doubts about their interest in the tough Japanese market, which U.S. President Donald Trump has promised to open wider, it was learned Monday.

The list of participants at the biennial event this year, released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association the same day, does not include General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

“We wanted them to join, but regrettably, there was no application from them,” JAMA Chairman Hiroto Saikawa, president of Nissan Motor Co., told a news conference.

GM and Ford will be absent for the fifth time in a row, though Fiat Chrysler displayed offerings from its Jeep and Fiat lineups at the previous show. The total, including suppliers and related organizations, will fall to 150 from 160 at the previous show, the list shows.

JAMA said 13 foreign auto and motorcycle makers will participate in the 45th Tokyo Motor Show in late October, four fewer than the previous show, as it struggles to stay relevant in the face of rival events in China. Participation at the Tokyo Motor Show has declined in recent years as automakers turn their attention to China, the world’s biggest car market, to make a splash at Auto Shanghai and Beijing’s Auto China.

In the meantime, Sweden’s Volvo Cars and U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. plan to return to Tokyo after skipping the 2013 show, while Scania, a Swedish manufacturer of heavy buses and trucks, will make its first appearance.

The Tokyo Motor Show will run from Oct. 27 through Nov. 5.