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17 March 2010

GM launches new sedan in Indonesia

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Albeit small in size and not to mention crowded, Indonesia’s market for sedans still allows room for competition and promises significant growth in the future, the Jakarta Post quoted General Motors Indonesia as saying.

The subsidiary of the US automotive giant launched on Monday a new five-seater sedan under its Chevrolet brand, the 1,800-cc Cruze. Assembled in Korea, the Cruze is priced at 309 million rupiah ($33,681) for manual transmission and at 335 million rupiah for six-speed automatic transmission in Jakarta.

“Although the characteristic of the Indonesian market is that people still prefer seven-seater cars, the sedan market is dynamic and it will grow in the near future, supported by the development of infrastructure,” said managing director Mukiat Sutikno on Monday.

Mukiat said the Cruze fell into a medium class sedan category, which according to the Indonesia Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo) retains a market share of about 1 percent of total automotive sales in Indonesia. All types of sedan hold a market share of about 3 percent of total Indonesian sales.

Aware that the global automotive market was shocked by recent massive recalls of cars by big market players, Mukiat said GM had made all necessary precautions with the new product. He said 221 Cruze prototypes were produced before releasing the product.

“We also have carried out test drives for 4 million miles. This is equal to traveling round the world 16 times,” he said.

He said the company expected to sell 200 to 250 Cruze sedans a year in Indonesia . GM Indonesia expects to sell a total of 3,500 Chevrolet cars this year – a 30 percent increase up on the 2,678 cars sold last year.

“We are still depending on the sales of the Spark and Captiva, which contributed around 70 percent to total sales last year,” he said, adding that sales targets for the Spark were yet to be announced, pending its launch in July.

Car sales were improving as the global economy recovered, he said.

He said GM Indonesia survived the crisis with a 3 percent increase in 2009 sales up from the previous year, while overall the Indonesian automotive industry posted a 20 percent drop in sales during 2009.

“Car sales are picking up. In January, car sales amounted to some 51,000 units and in February they reached between 52,000 and 53,000 units,” said Mukiat.

“The government should not impose a progressive tax this year. That may hamper car sales, otherwise,” referring to the proposed increased regional administrations tax on second and third cars.


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