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Honda challenges Nissan's rule over compact-car market in Indonesia

Publication Date : 03-08-2012


In a bid to tap into the country's city-car market, PT Honda Prospect Motor (HPM), a joint venture between Japan's Honda Motor Co. and Indonesia's Prospect Motor, launched yesterday the Honda Brio, its first "subcompact car".

HPM's marketing and after-sales service director, Jonfis Fandy, said Honda was hoping the sales of the new car would reach at least 6,000 by the end of this year.

"Currently, Nissan leads the segment share in the compact car market, with sales of approximately 858 cars every month. We are hoping to sell at least 1,200 per month starting this August," Fandy told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the launch in Jakarta.

The 1,399 cc Honda Brio, which is available in four models with prices ranging from 149 million rupiah (US$15,794) to 170 million rupiah, comes equipped with an i-VTEC engine with the power of 73 kilowatts or equivalent to 100 PS or horsepower. PT HPM is aiming to challenge other competitors in the city-car market, such as the Nissan March, the KIA Picanto and the Suzuki Splash.

PT Nissan Motor Indonesia currently leads the market share of city cars, with sales of 5,190 Nissan March vehicles in the January-June period this year, which accounts for around 31 per cent of the market, according to data provided by the Indonesian Automotive Industry Association.

In second place is the Indonesian arm of South Korean carmaker KIA Motor Corp, PT KIA Mobil Indonesia (KMI), which sold 4,043 of its city car, the KIA Picanto, in the January-June period this year, which is around 24 per cent of the market share.

The Suzuki Splash, the city car by PT Suzuki Indomobil Sales, took third place and 19 per cent of market share by selling 3,161 of the cars between January and June this year.

In addition, Fandy said that HPM had booked 26,018 in total sales in the first half of this year, up by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year, which saw the company sell 21,573 automobiles.

HPM's total sales during the year’s first half resulted in the company gaining approximately 4.9 per cent of the total market share in Indonesia.

"We are now back on track by selling 7,410 cars in June, up by 10 per cent from May's total sales of 6,773, which is the largest single-month sale figure so far this year. We are confident we can meet our target by selling a total of 70,000 cars by the end of the year," said Fandy.

He was referring to the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan and the flooding in Thailand last year, which disrupted parts supplies and production for all Japanese automakers, and thus disrupted Honda’s sales in the first couple of months this year.

Earlier this year, HPM announced its plans to build a new automobile plant in Karawang, West Java, with an anticipated investment of 3.1 trillion rupiah to meet rising demand for vehicles in the domestic and regional markets.

The plant, slated to commence operations the first quarter of 2014, will triple the firm's annual production capacity to 180,000 cars per year and help it reach its sales target of 210,000 by the end of 2015.

HPM president director, Tomoki Uchida, said during his speech at the product's launch yesterday that the company was confident that its latest product would be warmly received by the Honda customers in the largest economy in Southeast Asia.

"We are confident that the Honda Brio will be welcomed by our customers here," he said.


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