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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     8 October  2011                    

Indonesian car market booms

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The domestic automotive industry is poised to break its sales targets for 2011 thanks to a robust economy that has been relatively unscathed by the ongoing global financial turmoil.

Car sales in the first nine months of the year rose 22 percent to 657,886 units from 540,600 units in the same period last year, according to data from the Association of Indonesia Automotive Industries (Gaikindo).

Motorcycle sales also climbed, rising 13 percent to 6.22 million units from 5.53 million units last year, according to data from the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI).

Jongkie Sugiarto, an official at Gaikindo, said car sales would likely surpass the full-year target of 850,000 units.

"As long as economic growth is maintained at above 5 percent, the central bank keeps its interest rate at 6.75 percent, the rupiah is allowed to strengthen and the government can maintain security, we are optimistic that we can pass the 850,000 unit mark," he said.

Jongkie said there was plenty of money in the market to help consumers purchase cars. He said several financing companies were sitting on money and looking to help finance purchases, though he did not give names.

As much as 80 percent of an auto purchase can be financed with loans from multifinance companies. These companies are able to charge rates higher than the prime lending rates of banks, which typically charge around 11 percent.

Car sales last year reached 764,000 units. Industry officials have said they want to see sales of 1 million cars annually by 2013, a target Jongkie said could be achieved even sooner as automakers from Toyota to General Motors are expanding their production capacity here.

Joko Trisanyoto, the marketing director of Toyota Astra Motor, said the full-year sales total this year could hit 870,000 units, or even higher.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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