Indonesia's largest automotive distributor, PT Astra International Tbk, said on Thursday that domestic car sales by all companies in 2005 could reach 550,000 units or higher rather than the 510,000 it had forecast earlier.

Johnny Darmawan, an Astra director, gave Reuters the revised forecast in a telephone interview.

High oil prices, a rise in interest rates and the weakness of the rupiah were negative factors, but the car market was growing, as was the economy, he told the news agency.

"Looking at those factors, I am confident that we can reach 540,000-550,000. We can even get bigger than that," he reportedly added.

Reuters noted that, last year, 483,295 cars were sold in the world's fourth most populous nation.

In the first five months of 2005, 246,421 cars were sold, some 34 percent higher than in the same period of 2004. Astra accounted for around 47% of sales, Reuters said.