Toyota doubles exports on strong Middle East demand
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Despite the gloomy outlook in the global economy, PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN), the joint venture between Japan’s largest automaker Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Indonesia’s diversified group Astra International, has seen its overseas sales in some markets almost double in the first semester of this year.
Exports represented 37.46 percent of its total production of 79,161 units the first six months, which is up by 79.25 percent from last year.
The firm’s exports comprising the Innova and Fortuner models grew by 93.32 percent to 29,651 cars in the first semester, particularly driven by robust demand from Middle Eastern countries, external affairs chief Irwan Priyantoko said on Thursday in Jakarta.
“This fact proves that the impact of [the economic] crisis has not impeded demand for our cars in
our export destinations,” he told reporters during a press briefing in Jakarta.
Exports to Saudi Arabia surged by 79.7 percent to 13,776 units, representing 46.46 percent of the total exports in the first six months according to TMMIN statistics.
Exports to the United Arab Emirates of 2,313 units and Oman of 965 units came in second and third place behind exports to Saudi Arabia.
Irwan said that with the achievement, the firm was on track to meet its full year target of doubling its overseas sales to 60,000 units this year.
He projected that sales in the second half of the year would be equally strong as demand in its export destinations would likely be unchanged despite the slowing down of the global economy.
TMMIN started production in Indonesia in 1971 and in 1977 it started to produce the Kijang, which was a long-time hit in the domestic market.
It began manufacturing the Innova in 2004 and the Fortuner in 2006.
Apart from supplying Toyota models including the Avanza for the domestic market, it also exports various products in the form of completely built-up (CBU), completely knocked-down (CKD) units, engines and components to around 29 countries in Asia, Middle East and South America.
The Innova and Fortuner models currently make up 60 percent of the nation’s overall automobile exports.
Irwan said that the firm was still eyeing a bigger slice of the global market as it offered huge potential for the firm.
“We will study the market first before deciding how much we want to increase,” he said.
In anticipation of the surging demand locally and globally, the firm is building its second plant in Karawang, West Java with a total investment of ¥41.3 billion (US$525.38 million).
The plant was initially slated to produce 70,000 vehicles when completed in 2013 but recently the firm increased its investment to produce 120,000 vehicles after it begins
operation in 2014.
In addition to the production capacity of its first Karawang plant of 110,000 units, this will boost its overall capacity to 230,000 units by 2014.
Car sales, an indicator of consumption in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, expanded by 27.55 percent to 535,263 units during the January-June period this year from the same period last year, according to the latest statistics of the Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo).
Toyota still led the market with 37.8 percent share with sales reaching 202,519 units, up by 33 percent from a year ago, mainlydriven by sales of its multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) Avanza, which totaled 136,694 units, up by 25.4 percent from last year.