Headlines

Carmakers upbeat sales
will hit one million this
year

Automotive producers are optimistic that car sales will break the 1 million mark for the first time in history this year amid a sharp increase in the year’s sales.

The Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo) deputy chairman Jongkie D. Sugiarto said on Monday that annual car sales might reach 1.1 million units by the year-end as the robust demand for new cars would likely continue in the last two months of the year.

This figure is much higher than the association’s estimate of 940,000 units, which is a slight increase of 5 percent from last year as industrial players anticipated the potential impact of the global economic slowdown.

“Based on what we achieved up to last month, we may see the annual sales figure hit 1 million units as soon as the end of November,” he told The Jakarta Post.

Car sales increased by 23.7 percent in October to 106,807 units from last year, making the total sales settle at 923,132 units during the first 10 months, up 23.71 percent from a year earlier, the association’s statistics shows.

Toyota Astra Motor (TAM) continued to lead the market, selling 334,554 units in the January-October period, followed by Astra Daihatsu Motor (ADM) and Krama Yudha Tiga Berlian Motors, the authorized distributor of Mitsubishi cars, which sold 135,546 units and 124,466 units respectively.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy grew by 6.2 percent in the third quarter sustained by the strong purchasing power of the growing middle class, which contributed to the sharp increase in the car sales.

The significant increase in sales during the past four months proved that the new rule on the loan to value (LTV) introduced by the central bank, effective from June 15, did not significantly affect car sales, Jongkie said.

Under the new rule, which is also called the downpayment regulation, the central bank set a higher LTV for the purchases of cars and motorcycles to avert a potential credit bubble and excessive increase in consumer loans.

Major automobile players shared Jongkie’s optimism, saying that they could achieve their full-year target along with the higher-than-expected car sales this year.

Johnny Darmawan, TAM’s president director, said that his firm had a good chance of achieving its target of controlling a 36 percent share in the domestic market until the year end.

“As of October, we already grabbed 36.5 percent of the total market and we are optimistic the trend will continue,” he said, adding that its multi-purpose vehicles, such as the Avanza and Innova, would remain the major contributors to Toyota’s sales.

Rizwan Alamsjah, the marketing director of Krama Yudha Tiga Berlian Motors, said that in the next two months, its car sales would maintain an upward trend, unaffected by the higher downpayments.

The firm aimed to sell 143,000 units this year, up 6.39 percent from 134,416 units last year.

“We are upbeat that we can fulfill our annual target, and even exceed it,” he said, adding that significant sales would still derive from its commercial vehicles.

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