The Jakarta Post
January to October domestic car sales have declined by about 11.7 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) compiled by diversified conglomerate Astra International.
Sales from January to October totaled 849,609 units, down 11.7 percent from the 962,834 cars sold in the same period last year.
"Political activities [have hampered] sales in the first semester of 2019, especially the presidential and the simultaneous regional head elections," Gaikindo cochairman Jongkie D. Sugiarto said on Friday.
In October alone, domestic car sales dropped to 96,030, down nearly 9.5 percent from the 106,079 units sold in the same month last year.
Almost all carmakers saw a similar slowdown. Toyota reported sales of 31,142 cars in October, down about 16 percent from the 36,209 units in the same month last year. Honda's sales fell about 6 percent to 14,503 units Mitsubishi’s dropped by nearly 8 percent to 14,023 units.
Although it faces declines in almost all of its brands, Astra International continues to dominate domestic car sales with a 53 percent share of the market. The publicly listed company holds the distribution and manufacturing rights to Toyota, Daihatsu, Isuzu, Peugeot and UD Trucks.
Astra's competitors, Suzuki and Nissan, recorded an increase. Suzuki’s sales climbed about 2.4 percent to 8,721 units in October from the same period last year while Nissan’s sales increased by about 187 percent to 480 units.
Automotive experts said Nissan had seen a sharp rise in sales thanks to the successful debut of its new Livina model in February this year.
Despite the overall domestic auto sales drop, Jongkie said that the sales target of 1 million units this year remains unchanged from its latest revision. The target is lower than last year’s sales realization of 1.15 million units.
The year-to-date sale of 849,609 cars currently fulfills 84.9 percent of the target, meaning 150,712 units have to be sold in the last two months to reach the association's goal.
“We hope that we can reach 1 million [sales] in December this year so that the year-on-year decrease will only be around 13 percent,” said Jongkie, who previously earmarked an average monthly sales of 85,000 units to attain the target.
He warned that sales were usually down in December due to the holiday season but would not recommend how to tackle the issue as it was the “domain of brand-holder agents”.
Nonetheless, he previously said that both the downward trend in credit lending rates and the 26th Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) held from July 18 to 28 would bolster sales until the end of the year.
“The government is also stable now, so we hope to see more government spending in the future,” said Jongkie in a recent interview. He explained that more infrastructure projects would eventually stimulate domestic car sales.