Published on September 21st, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
The 2012 Jakarta International Motor Show at the JI Expo
This is a yearly event for a city of 11 million people. Traffic is the worst we have ever experienced in our life with too many cars and motorcycles chasing small areas of bitumen. Still, the car industry in Indonesia is growing as the middle class is expanding and their need to have a vehicle is getting more of a priority. For 2012, the car market is seeing a slowdown in growth due to the financial crisis in Europe. The Indonesian car market is very much different than the Malaysian and even Thai car market. Vans, MPV’s and SUV’s dominate the landscape and there is only a small number of high performance car buyers (only the very wealthy).
There is a heavy tax on all cars but it is not as high as in Malaysia and this allows more Indonesians to drive. Locally made/assembled cars have the lowest tax imposed on them as so their prices are in easier reach. Honda, Toyota and Nissan have big factories in Indonesia but it is Daihatsu that leads this growing market. With the biggest share of the sales pie, Daihatsu and its parent owner, Toyota are kings here. Small cars and MPVs from them sell with ease. The Myvi and Alza cousins are best sellers. The taxis love the Vios and families can’t get enough of the Avanza and Innova. Honda does very well with the Freed MPV and Brio compact hatch and Nissan sells a lot of Livinas.
At this year’s show, we were invited by Motor Image which is the brand guardian of Subaru for the region and also China and Taiwan. With 10 countries under their control, Motor Image is moving the Subaru brand and product deep into Indonesian middle class. At the show, Subaru launched the new XV Crossover and the BRZ sports car. The Subaru launch was unlike any other at the other stands with music; dance and excitement introducing Motor Image’s Glenn Tan for the presentation of the Subaru XV Crossover which is being assembled in Malaysia for the region. This is the 1st time a Subaru is being assembled outside of Japan for the region. With 7 important senior Japanese executives in attendance with Glenn Tan, the launch was a huge success and an indication of Motor Image’s strong push for more than 6,000 units to be sold in the region from December 2012. The XV is just one of many new Subaru’s that will be selling in large numbers in Malaysia and the region in coming months. The Impreza sedan, the Forestor and Outback are all destined for the 10 showrooms in Malaysia this 2012. (5 new showrooms are opening before December 2012).
There were some interesting launches at the show that could see showroom introduction in Malaysia in the near future.
Honda had the world premier of the face lifted CR-Z ahead of its Paris showing. This just shows how important the ASEAN car market is getting while the French auto market shrinks and gets dwarfed by dominant German, Japanese and Korean brands.
Toyota and Daihatsu which are the 2 strongest auto brands in Indonesia showcased the Toyota Agya (the replacement Perodua Viva) and Daihatsu Alya.
Mitsubishi Japanese executives were in attendance for the launch of the Mirage compact car with 9 variations on 1 large stage. Ford showcased the all new Focus sedan and hatchback.
General Motors had the Chevrolet brand in a strong position with the Trailblazer SUV, but it was the new Sonic (Aveo) sedan and Spin compact MPV that caught the attention of the Indonesian and Malaysian media. All three models will see an introduction in Malaysia real soon.
The German auto brands also showed their might with Audi having the new A4, A5 and A8 at their stand. Mercedes showed the CLS shooting brake and BMW and Mini had their range ready for sale.
Yes, the Indonesian Motor Show is a sales driven show where banks, insurance and leasing companies work with the car companies at the show to sell cars right to the public during the show open days.