Vehicle sales in Indonesia grew just 2.5-percent year-on-year in June 2013, compared with a 4.2-percent year-on-year gain in May. According to industry data, a total of 104,265 vehicles were sold in Indonesia, which is considered as the biggest economy in Southeast Asia.
Month-on-month sales growth in the country for June 2013 was 4.7 percent, lead by Japanese carmakers Toyota Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp and Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd.
The lower sales growth in June was attributed to higher fuel prices in the country. Gaining strong for the month were motorcycles, which sales grew as consumer shift from cars due to higher fuel prices and purchases ahead of festivities at the end of the Ramadan.
Vehicle sales account for around 50 percent of Indonesia’s economy, making it one of the most important indicators of domestic consumption. The Indonesian central bank on Thursday increased its benchmark rate by 50 basis points to 6.5 percent to limit inflation as fuel prices surged anew in June.
Indonesia has been considered one of the as the hotbeds for production or assembly of automobiles in Southeast Asia. Automotive exports from the country have been greater in value than imports. A number of carmakers have established a manufacturing or assembly base in Indonesia.
Toyota, for instance, produces vehicles in Indonesia through PT. Toyota Astra Motor. Founded in April 1971, Toyota Astra Motor commenced vehicle production in September 1974. Its most famous product was a series of light trucks and vans called the Kijang, which was derived from 1976 Toyota Tamaraw. The Kijang was a huge success for Toyota Astra Motor, with the 100,000th unit rolling off the production line in February 1985. Production at Toyota Astra Motor is currently being done through PT. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN).
Suzuki, on the other hand, manufactures vehicles for the local market through PT. IndoMobil Suzuki International, a joint venture established in 1978 between Suzuki Motor Corp. and the IndoMobil Group. IndoMobil Suzuki has been producing the APV budget MPV, which has been exported to several countries since 2005.
Meanwhile, Daihatsu started in Indonesia in the 1970s and 1980s through PT Daihatsu Indonesia as its distributor and Gaya Motor as in charge of assembly. Both PT Daihatsu Indonesia and Gaya Motor were based Sunter, Jakarta. PT Daihatsu Indonesia was a joint venture between a Japanese holding company and PT Astra International. PT Gaya Motor, meanwhile, was a joint venture between the Indonesian government, PT Astra International, PT Multi France and PT Multi Astra.