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NEWS UPDATES 5 August 2009

Luxury brands keep growth in Indonesia car market

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Luxury car sales still enjoyed a 1 percent growth amid a sharp decline in the automotive sector in the first half of this year, the Jakarta Post quoted a premium car producer as saying.

PT Mercedes-Benz Indonesia president director, Rudy Borgenheimer, said on Monday that sales in the automotive market had declined by 26 percent but premium market sales had grown slightly by one percent to 1,863 units, from 1,844 units sold in the same period of 2008.

Mercedez-Benz boosted its premium car sales from 1,278 units in 2008 to 1,290 units this year. Borgenheimer predicted the state of car industry in the country would improve in the third and fourth quarters of this year, thanks partly to the stability of the Indonesian economy.

“No wonder, we are targeting to sell 2,600 units by the end of this year to maintain our market share,” he told reporters at the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz E series, saying Mercedes-Benz had maintained its 69 percent market share in the premium car market this year.

Besides Mercedes-Benz, the premium car market also includes BMW, Jaguar and Audi. He added the automotive industry had also expected the premium market would grow by 4 percent, and would be able to sell 3,750 units this year compared to 3,600 units in 2008.

“Actually, we projected a 10 percent growth in sales in 2010, equivalent to selling about 3,000 cars,” Rudy added.

He was confident the company would achieve its target because Indonesia’s economy had greatly improved, with the rupiah remaining stable and declining interest rates.

The company has prepared several plans to boost its sales by arranging exhibitions, improving its after-sales services and broadening its customer and product base.

One of its brand new products is the E-Class E-300, which is believed to target modern business executives around the country. He said the company had produced 400 units of the new car, which was on sale this year.

The E-Class series, which came out seven years ago, has helped Mercedes retain its dominant position in the premium car market. This half year, Mercedes sold 501 units of its 1,100 E-class series, beating BMW (86 units), and Jaguar (13 units).



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