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Crowded house: Visitors flock to the Honda booth during the 2012 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) at the Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo) in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta on Thursday. The IIMS features 35 automobile manufacturers and will run until Sept. (30. JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)
The largest ever Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) kicked off on Thursday at the Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo) in Kemayoran, showcasing dozens of new models. The event, with a focus on eco-friendly cars, will tighten competition in Southeast Asia’s largest automotive market.
The exhibition, expected to attract 350,000 visitors and become the top automotive event in the Asia Pacific, received a major boost with the world premiere unveiling of Honda’s first hybrid/sports car, the New Honda CR-Z, before it is taken to the world’s benchmark auto-show, the Paris Motor Show, at end of this month.
The New Honda CR-Z, a face-lift of the previous model, has an i-VTEC 1,500cc engine combined with an integrated motor assisted battery.
“In line with our theme ‘Racing for blue skies’, we are displaying this model as part of our effort to promote eco-mobility in our move to introduce hybrid cars to the Indonesian public,” Honda Prospect Motor’s marketing and after-sales service director, Jonfis Fandy, told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the event that presented hundreds of models from 35 manufacturers.
The New Honda CR-Z retails at Rp 475 million (US$49,615) for the manual transmission model, and Rp 489 million for continuously variable transmission (CVT) model, with first delivery in February next year.
Other new eco-friendly cars, which are being introduced to the public for the first time, bolstered the event, such as the Astra Toyota Agya and the Astra Daihatsu Ayla from Indonesia’s biggest automotive players.
Both models are yet to be commercially available to the market as both manufacturers are still waiting for the government’s incentive on “low cost and green cars” to be passed. The incentive will reduce sales taxes on luxury goods to as low as 0 percent.
Other players that traditionally do not hold a dominant position in the local market also raced to present new models in line with the exhibition’s theme of “eco-mobility”.
Geely Mobil Indonesia, which presented seven models, up from three models last year, introduced its green, inexpensive car, the LC Panda, which utilizes a 998cc VVTI engine and can run on one liter for between 18 kilometers and 22 kilometers.
“We expect this model will become a key contributor to our future sales. Like LC Cross and Emgrand, this model has been developed based on models that compete in the American and European markets,” Hosea Sanjaya, the president director of Geely Mobil Indonesia, said.
The LC Panda will cost Rp 98 million, and will help the firm to achieve its overall sales target of 300 units during the 11-day exhibition, according to Hosea.
Davy Tulian, the sales director of Suzuki Indomobil, said that although his firm did not unveil specific eco-cars, it introduced fuel-economical cars such as the New Swift, which runs on a 1,400cc engine, compared to the 1,500cc engine used in the previous model.
The change of engine allows the newer version of the city car to retail for Rp 163 million, down from the previous model’s price of Rp 176.1 million.
US-based manufacturers, meanwhile, attempted to put together a stronger presence at this year’s IIMS by booking larger booth spaces.
PT Ford Motor Indonesia (FMI), a subsidiary of the US automotive giant Ford Motors, will reside in a 1,000-square meter booth in Hall A at JIExpo. The company will also offer the public the opportunity to test drive its 10 vehicles in an additional 400-square meter open-air space.
“In last year’s exhibition, we only used a 670-square meter indoor room to display seven cars and we did not launch any new vehicles. This year, aside from the larger space, we are also launching our all new Ford Focus brand for sedans and hatchbacks,” PT FMI’s marketing director Gumgum Prijadi told the Post.
FMI saw customers booking nearly 3,000 all-new Ford Rangers, its brand for the double-cab pickup segment, since the luxurious multipurpose truck’s launch in August. The firm expected to see a similar success for its Ford Focus sedans and hatchbacks.
Meanwhile, PT General Motors Indonesia (GMI), a subsidiary of the American manufacturer General Motors that sells its Chevrolet marque, increased its space in Hall B and C to 1,100 square meters, up from the 800-square meter room it booked for last year’s expo.
Aside from the 12 vehicles it is displaying during the event this year, PT GMI is also displaying its new sedan, the new Chevrolet Spin, which will be launched in the first half of next year.
The reactivated GMI manufacturing plant in Bekasi, West Java, which cost the company an investment of $150 million, is prepared to produce 40,000 Chevrolet Spins annually, starting next year.
GM Southeast Asia operations president Martin Apfel told reporters that with the reactivated plant as well as the company’s plan to increase its dealers in Indonesia from 34 to 36 outlets, PT GMI has shown its commitment to Southeast Asia’s largest economy. (asa)