* See the Full article by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Eddy *
Can GM challenge a quasi-monopoly by Japanese manufacturers in fast-growing Indonesia? If you are a regular BSCB reader, you will know that Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest growing car markets, with 2012 the first year Indonesian new car sales broke the one million annual units barrier at 1,116,224 units, up a whopping 25% on 2011 and 46% on 2010 which were both already record years. In 2012, Indonesia is on track to finish the year with another record which I predict to be around 1.3 million units (+16%). Some analysts even forecast Indonesian sales to double to 2 million over the next 3 years…
And who has been winning the Indonesian car sales battle? Japanese manufacturers for the most part, with zero non-Japanese model in the May Top 20 for example. In fact, Indonesia has even been nicknamed “Toyota country”, with the manufacturer holding an out-of-this-world 54% market share locally when Daihatsu sales are included (through 450 dealerships), which some months is better than at home in Japan… After starting assembling Corollas and Land Cruisers locally in 1971, Toyota hit gold when it released the Kijang in 1977, designed specifically for Indonesia. This multi-purpose vehicle has come to define motoring in Indonesia and is still regularly within the Top 3 best-sellers, now in its 5th generation.
Whereas it launched here in 1938, General Motors only has 34 dealerships and less than 1% market share. In an excellent article published today, Autonews describes how in 2013, GM is decided to finally give the Indonesian market a solid go to try and challenge Toyota’s supremacy. But this is going to be a very difficult task, with Toyota already taking measures to cut the grass under GM’s tyres. Tim Lee, head of GM’s international operations, recently said in an interview: “We started in Indonesia in 1938. We have been so successful, we have (grabbed) seven-tenths of a point of market share in 75 years. Are you (kidding) me?”
Autonews says “GM for decades failed to come up with the right vehicles for Indonesia, which prefers simple “people mover” vans. Now, it is finally coming out with a competitive multi-purpose vehicle, the Chevrolet Spin (already sold in Latin America), with 3 rows of seats, the kind of car that rules the Indonesian roads. GM has restarted an assembly plant it shuttered in 2005, began production in April with plans for 40,000 cars a year initially. GM CEO Dan Akerson said he thinks GM could grab a 7- to 10% share of Indonesia’s automobile market within a decade.” The Spin sold 767 units in May for a 0.8% market share, with its year-to-date total reaching 1,144 sales after two months.
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