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August 6, 2008

Indonesia’s 2008 motorbike sales may hit 6mln
Indonesia’s domestic motorcycle sales may peak a record 6 million units this year as strong coal and palm oil prices provide a boost to consumer spending, said Reuters on Tuesday.

That all-time high in sales would represent a 28 percent increase from 2007, when 4.7 million units were sold. Annual motorcycle sales previously peaked in 2005 at 5.07 million units.

Michael D. Ruslim, president director of automotive distributor PT Astra International Tbk, told reporters that the strong growth in sales was supported by demand from outside Indonesia’s main island of Java.

However, he said that sales growth might slow to between 5-10 percent in 2009.
Rising commodity prices have boosted incomes in several of Indonesia’s resources-rich provinces, particularly in the plantations and mining areas of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

“Demand from outside Java, such as Sumatra and Kalimantan, rose by 60-80 percent compared to the first half of last year, so the growth from regions outside Java was outstanding,” he added.

Astra distributes vehicles from a number of leading brands including Toyota Motor Corp, Daihatsu Motor Co, Peugeot SA, and BMW AG, as well as motorcycles made by Honda Motor Co.

“The market share of Honda (motorcycles) throughout the first half was 46 percent. We are hoping to defend that or, if possible, increase it further,” Ruslim said.

Analysts pay close attention to Indonesia’s sales of cars and motorcycles, as it shows the strength of consumer spending, a key driver for economic growth.

Motorcycle sales in the first half rose 44.3 percent to 3.06 million units.
Sumatra is the centre for the palm oil industry in Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of the commodity, while Kalimantan is rich in coal resources.

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