TOKYO — The odds were against it, but the beleaguered Tokyo Motor Show — championed and reinvented by Toyota boss Akio Toyoda — not only met its ambitious attendance target but exceeded the 1 million-visitor goal by good measure when doors closed this week.
Toyoda, who also is chairman of the show’s organizer, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, brashly set a goal of 1 million visitors in a bid to reverse the show’s flagging fortunes over the last 10 years amid waning enthusiasm for auto expos worldwide.
When the 12-day show wrapped up Monday, more than 1.3 million people had visited.
The tally represented a 70 percent surge over the 771,200 who attended the biennial show in 2017. Attendance had been falling fast, from 902,00 visitors in 2013 to 813,500 in 2015. Back in 1991, the show swelled with a record 2.02 million people.
Numerous factors conspired to make reversing the downward spiral a tough task.
First, half the show’s traditional exhibition center —…
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