Friday, April 12, 2013

Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore 2013 - Overview

Had to pen my thoughts just as i got back from TAS-SG yesterday evening. For the first time ever, TAS has brought it's show overseas (Thailand's is Bangkok International Auto Salon) and i was fortunate to be invited for a short early preview of the show before the doors opened to the public so was able to get in some shots of the cars before the crowds swarmed in. Consisting of one main hall, it isn't quite as big as the main show in Japan, nor are the cars parked as tightly together might i add. It can pretty much be covered in less than a day, but let's not jump to conclusions just yet. I'm guessing for petrolheads, one of the main draws are the presence of the Japanese tuner houses which to give the organisers credit, getting them down was probably a hat-trick in itself given the limited market our little island has for them. Although i would have hoped for a more stellar showcase of cars, i won't complain. After all, we have to start somewhere right? As the other members of the press got in as many shots as possible, i decided to just take in as much as i can while occasionally getting in a photo or two. One thing i had wished for was for more merchandise from the overseas exhibitors. If you've been to the show in Japan, one of the things to take note of when visiting is to keep a tight watch over your wallet as there are just tonnes and tonnes of goodies to be bought! The only exhibitor which brought along lots of stuff to buy was Vertex, unfortunately, they forgot to bring along a car to showcase. I'm guessing their 2JZ powered BMW is probably busy in the D1 circuit to make this trip. Well, there's always next time. You can buy a BMW keychain from them though. It looks pretty rad. RE Amemiya also brought along some goodies but their prices reflect their exclusivity. From cars that made the long boat ride down, we swap over to take a look at those which made the trip from just across the border. It's pretty interesting to see how automotive styling has evolved over the years, from loud and bombastic aerokits to the current stance movement. Some cars stranger than others, but i do love a couple of retro JDM rides that were present. Especially this brown KE70 Corolla, so clean. Just perfect. This little carbon wrapped Civic also had my attention for the longest time. I will do a more detailed post of the more notable cars later. Local retailers also took up some showspace to showcase their latest products, from wheels to carbon sofas! Last minute prep work just before the official opening time. Some cars were a little stranger than others. Military wrapped Ferrari? With car prices going the way they are, will we end up having to fulfill our automotive desires on a smaller scale? As the main gates opened and people started coming in, it was obvious not everyone was here for the cars as the moshpit in front of the main stage started filling up AS SOON as the doors opened. I heard some AKB48 fans started Q-ing from 3am the morning before!

Overall, TAS-SG? It's pretty good for a local event. And for those who have never been to the main show in Japan, do give it a visit for a taste of what TAS is all about. It's pretty much a very very "lite", maybe 1/8th version of the main show. It's still fun and can be easily covered in a day or less, with regular performances happenig at various parts of the hall, there's something for everyone, from our regular petrolheads to the not so regular tiko-peks.

For those who have been to the show in Makuhari though, i hope that you'd visit just to garner more support for our local shows. Events like this don't pay for themselves and needs support from people to continue!

We've heard it too many times from people about why aren't there any nice automotive shows locally, here's one. We love cars too! Give local shows your support or there might just not be any more in the future. I did have one huge gripe with the crowd though. As expected, there's a crazy frenzy whenever the showgirls come out, just like Japan. But the similarities with Japan stops there. Over there, ppl at least still maintain a sense of civility and politeness even when the crowds surrounding the girls are twice as large, but yesterday, members of the media and myself got shoved, pushed and elbowed out of the way by ppl with gigantic lenses (seriously?). And when you do eventually get bumped INTO, these people shoot you a dirty as it you just caused them to miss a million dollar photo or a hot date with said model!!!


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