Business / Auto Global

Carmakers to bring 'eco' cars to Indonesia

( Updated: 2013-03-14 17:12

Along with their local partner Astra International, Toyota Motor Corp and Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd jointly develop compact cars as their "low-cost green cars" - the Astra Toyota Agya and the Astra Daihatsu Ayla - released last September.

Once the regulation is passed, both models will be produced at Daihatsu's new plant in the Sur-yacipta industrial estate in East Karawang, West Java, designed with a production capacity of 100,000 vehicles per year.

"If the Ayla is commercially launched it will help us maintain a market share of 15 percent this year. Without it, our share can drop as we don't have a sufficient supply amid growing demand," said Astra Daihatsu Motor marketing director Amelia Tjandra.

Daihatsu is targeting the sale of 3,000 units of Ayla per month, representing 20 percent of its monthly sales. It sold 162,742 vehicles last year, up 16.6 percent from a year earlier, accounting for 14.6 percent of the nation's sales of 1.12 million.

Daihatsu is struggling to fulfill market demand for several models as its old Karawang plant has reached peak capacity, and additional supplies are not likely as its new plant is set to produce the Agya and Ayla.

Similarly, Toyota Astra Motor also expects the Agya will serve as a new source of growth, giving a marked contribution of 20 percent to its overall sales. It aims to grab a 36 percent share in the automobile market of 1.2 million units, estimated by the Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo) this year.

At present, the firm is relying heavily on sales of its multi-purpose vehicle the Avanza, which is the market leader in the biggest segment of the country's car market.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Suzuki Motor Corp are also looking to get involved. Nissan, a pioneer of zero-emission vehicles, confirmed its intention to develop affordable eco-cars under its heritage Datsun brand.

"With the assumption of further motorization in Indonesia, we think Datsun's opportunity is big because of the potentially huge market. We will also develop the Datsun based on the needs of Indonesian customers," said Teddy Irawan, the vice president director for marketing and sales of Nissan Motor Indonesia.

Although it has yet to disclose its plan, Suzuki also expresses its strong determination to join in the "low-cost green cars". Davy Tulian, the sales director of Suzuki Indomobil Sales which sell and produce Suzuki cars in Indonesia, described that the firm "is very interested" and "enthusiastic" to take part in the program.

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