The Jakarta Post
Japan's third-largest automaker, the Honda Motor Co., has said it will start producing a new model at its Indonesian plant early next year, following its success in the sale of its low-cost multi-purpose vehicle (LMPV), the Honda Mobilio.
Honda Prospect Motor marketing and after-sales director Jonfis Fandy said on Wednesday evening that the Honda HR-V, a Jazz-based crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV), would be the new model assembled here.
Before its initial production, the crossover would be introduced in September at the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS), according to Jonfis, whose company is a joint venture between Japan's Honda and Indonesia's Prospect Motor.
'We hope the car will follow up on its success in Japan although as a new player, it may not directly become number one,' Jonfis said.
The new model would come in two variants: one powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and the other, a 1.8-liter engine, according to Jonfis.
Honda first showcased the crossover, known in Japan as the Vezel, at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show last November, and began selling the car there in December.
In Indonesia, the Honda HR-V will compete with other cars that had an earlier presence in the market, such as the Nissan Juke and Suzuki SX4.
The entry of new models, including the Honda HR-V, will be an important move to help meet the company's target of selling 300,000 cars to Indonesian customers in 2016.
Jonfis said that Honda had retained its sales target for this year of 175,000 vehicles, up by around 90 percent from last year.
It delivered 82,674 cars in the first half of this year, up by 68 percent from the same period last year. The figure was a record high in Honda's half-year sales in Indonesia.
'With this achievement, we are still on track to attain our full-year goal, which will see a significant jump in sales, ' he said.
Car sales, a basic indicator with which to measure consumption in Southeast Asia's largest economy, grew modestly by 6.6 percent to 642,311 from January to June this year.
The figure, however, is beyond the expectation of industry players, who anticipate flat sales this year of just 1.2 million.
Honda generated its biggest sales from its first LMPV in the Indonesian market ' the Honda Mobilio.
Mobilio sales topped 46,446, representing a 23 percent share of the total LMPV market. The car is produced in Honda's second plant in Karawang, West Java.
Honda operates two plants in Karawang, which assemble various models, including the Jazz, the CR-V, the Freed and the Mobilio.
The second key contributor to Honda's sales was its low-cost green car (LCGC), the Brio Satya. From January to June, sales of the model hit 11,493, accounting for a 13 percent share of the fuel-efficient car segment.
Jonfis said that Honda would continue to rely on both models to derive sales growth in the second half of the year.
It also plans to introduce several new models through the end of this year.
Along with the introduction of the new models, Honda aims to open nine dealerships this year in a number of cities nationwide, including Malang, Tangerang, Serang, Kupang and Gorontalo.
This will support the company's plan to have 105 dealerships by the end of the year.
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