Business

Astra Daihatsu to keep
dominance in compact cars

Sudirman Maman Rusdi: ADM president directur. KOMPAS.com/Zulkifli BJ
Sudirman Maman Rusdi: ADM president directur. KOMPAS.com/Zulkifli BJ

PT Astra Daihatsu Motor (ADM), the local subsidiary of Japanese auto maker Daihatsu Motor Company, expects to maintain dominance in the production of compact cars in Indonesia, the company’s executive said.

ADM president director Sudirman Maman Rusdi said in Jakarta on Monday that the company, which at present produces Daihatsu Xenia, Terios, Gran Max, Luxio and Sirion as well as Toyota Avanza and Toyota Rush as part of cooperation with Toyota, was currently the market leader in compact car manufacturing.

In order to be able to maintain its dominance in the future, ADM has pledged to increase its production capacity by building a new plant in the Suryacipta industrial estate in East Karawang, West Java, starting from the middle of last year.

The plant, estimated to cost Rp 2.1 trillion (US$228.9 million), is slated to be finished by October this year and will be able to produce 100,000 units per year after full operation next year.

At present, the firm operates a plant in Sunter, North Jakarta, with an annual production capacity of 330,000 units without
overtime. “Since 2004, we have become the largest car manufacturer and maintained this position up to present. Last year, we produced 373,000 units, which is the largest production in Indonesia, both for Daihatsu and Toyota,” Sudirman said during an interview with The Jakarta Post.

Although Daihatsu planned to further ramp up its local production capacity, the firm had no plans to overtake Toyota as the nation’s car market leader, Sudirman said while clarifying a report titled “Daithatsu aims to overtake Toyota in RI” published on this page on Friday, March 2.

Sudirman said it would be unrealistic to say Daihatsu would overtake Toyota as it only sells compact cars with engine capacity of up to 1,500 cc, while Toyota sells a full range of cars.

Last year, ADM controlled around a 30 percent share in the country’s compact car market, which comprises cars with engine capacity of up to 1,500 cc including low multi-purpose vehicles, low pick-ups, low city cars and medium sports utility vehicles.

“We don’t have any ambition to do that [becoming number one], as in the global strategy of Toyota, the Daihatsu position is already clear,” he said, citing that Daihatsu is focused only on the compact car segment.

ADM is 61.7 percent owned by Daihatsu Motor Company, 31.9 percent by Astra International and 6.4 percent by Toyota Tsusho Corporation — the sole trading company of the Toyota Group of Japan. Daihatsu Motor Company is 51 percent controlled by Japan’s largest auto maker, Toyota Motor Corporation.

Daihatsu is holding a series of activities to celebrate the company’s 105th anniversary. The events include social responsibility programs such as nature conservation and health programs.

Earlier, ADM said that it expected its sales to surge by up to 5 percent to 145,000 units this year in line with the nationwide car sales, which are expected to slow down due to the impact of worldwide economic downturn.

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