Jokowi’s pet project evolves into rural vehicle
Ganug Nugroho Adi
The Jakarta Post
Sukiyat, the initiator of the locally designed Mobil Esemka, has transformed the pet project of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo into a rural transportation vehicle called the Mahesa, which will be mass-produced next year.
Rural residents are the target market for the Mahesa, Sukiyat said over the weekend.
The producer, PT Kiat Mahesa Wintor Indonesia (KMWI), and the distributor, PT Kiat Mahesa Wintor Distributor (KMWD), will cooperate with publicly listed automotive company PT Astra International to produce 25,000 units per year for now.
Mahesa stands for Moda Angkutan Hemat Desa (affordable rural mode of transportation), as the vehicle is designed for villagers’ needs. The Mahesa is a multifunctional vehicle powered by a 650-cc diesel engine and able to carry loads of up to 900 kilograms. The Mahesa can also double as a water pump and or rice mill.
“This vehicle will be easily to sell, because it meets villagers’ needs. At the end of this year, all the licenses will be completed,” Sukiyat told The Jakarta Post in a telephone interview on Sunday.
The Mahesa has been featured at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) this year. The design represents a further step in the longterm Esemka project, which was introduced and made popular by Jokowi when he was Surakarta mayor.
“The Mahesa is a joint project involving several small and medium automotive industry firms in Indonesia. There are 165 members of Indonesian Automotive Institute [IOI]. So this car is really a domestic product,” said Sukiyat.
Sukiyat said the Mahesa would come in three variants: a yellow double-cabin type tagged at Rp 70 million, a red pick-up priced at Rp 60 million and a white farming truck for Rp 50 million. All three types have a power outlet at the back of the car that is attachable to other farming equipment, like a rice mill, water pump and power generator.
The vehicle can reach a speed of up to 55 kilometers per hour and run 30 km on 1 liter of fuel.
Sukiyat said he had approached the Industry Minister last year to ask for support and permits.
Sukiyat claimed the target market had shown interest in buying the Mahesa, with pre-orders recently exceeding 10,000 units.
He said the producer had not received any government funding, adding that the capital had come from automotive companies.
“The funding for the initial production is Rp 700 billion and is all from the private sector,” he said.
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