Govt to issue ‘national
car’ platform

The Industry Ministry will introduce in the middle of next year a platform for small-engine cars that it is preparing jointly with the Assessment and Application of Technology Agency (BPPT).

The Industry Ministry’s director general for high-priority industries, Budi Darmadi, said on Tuesday in Jakarta that the platform would serve as a standard for cars using engines of less than 1,000 cc.

The platform could become the embryo for vehicles to be developed by domestic manufacturers under local brands, often dubbed “national cars” or “mobnas”.

“After the platform is launched, manufacturers will make their own prototypes. The platform can also be used in other types of cars, such as multi-purpose vehicles and pick ups,” he said after opening a transportation vehicle exhibition at his office.

Any local producer, either state-owned enterprise or private firm, could utilize the platform to create prototypes, which would be expected to be ready by the end of next year, BPPT deputy chairman for technology of design and engineering industries Erzi Agson Gani said.

Production of the cars based on the developed platform could start by end of 2014, he added.

“The platform will not disrupt existing car models, but instead it will help local manufacturers to take advantage of untapped potential,” Erzi said, adding that the emergence of the small-engine (below 1,000-cc) cars would create a new market.

Although the platform was designed to run on various energy sources, including gasoline, diesel, gas and electricity, BPPT encouraged manufacturers to use those which fulfilled European emissions standards Erzi said.

Amid ballooning consumption of subsidized fuels, the government has recently initiated a low-carbon emission vehicle project expected to begin in 2014 by the latest. The effort is in line with its target to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020.

Under the project, the government endorses the development of vehicles with environmentally-friendly technology through tax incentives, which are being drafted by the Finance Ministry.

The private sector has responded by introducing fuel-efficient cars, claiming such vehicles can run for more than 20 kilometers on a liter of fuel. The government is also fostering the creation of electric cars led by the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry.

—JP/ Linda Yulisman

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