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August 28, 2008

Indonesian Toyota to raise prices gradually
PT Toyota Astra Motor (TAM), Indonesia's biggest car seller, will continue to gradually raise product prices until the end of the year by an average of 10 percent to
compensate for increasing material costs, local daily Jakarta Post reported.

The company’s president director Johnny Darmawan said Wednesday the prices of some products had been raised in this manner since the beginning of the year to avoid
a market shock.

"The prices of some products have been going up slowly since early this year. It's going to be like that so that by the year's end, we'll have an increase of up to 10 percent," he
said in an interview.

He said the price rises were an inevitable consequence of rising material prices. Globally, the rise in production costs has forced Toyota Motor Corp., TAM's parent
company, to increase the prices of some of its products, AFP reported Tuesday. It will increase car prices by 2 percent on average starting Sept. 1, while the price of its
popular Prius hybrid will be increased 3 percent.

One of the main reasons for the rises has been the rising cost of iron -- which is used to make steel -- due to increasing demand from economic powerhouses China and India
over the past several years.

However, Johnny said he was upbeat about the performance of Indonesia's car industry this year, setting a target of 570,000 units for 2008, exceeding the national target of
520,000 units.

"The market is still bullish, the latest report for July's sales shows that 61,000 units of cars were sold during that period, beyond the monthly average of 40,000 to 45,000,
so with only five months left, I'd say that we can reach 570,000 units."

Johnny said he hoped TAM could sell 193,800 units, or equivalent to 34 percent of market share.

Last year, TAM sold 152,040 unit cars, which accounted for 35 percent of market share. In the first semester of this year, TAM held 33.7 percent of market share.

TAM's car sales jumped to 98,600 units in the first semester from 51,700 units in the same period last year.

The latest data from the Association of Indonesian Automotive Industries shows that behind Toyota in market share were Mitsubishi and Suzuki in second and third place,
respectively, with 14.9 and 13.4 percent. TAM sells, among others, the Kijang Innova and Avanza.

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