The Gaikindo Indonesian International Auto Show (GIIAS) got under way last week at the International Convention and Exhibition (ICE) centre in BSD, one of Jakarta’s fastest-growing new satellite towns. Tony Pugliese was there for just-auto

There is rising optimism among local automakers that the domestic vehicle market may have turned a corner after two years of decline, spurred on by recent interest rate cuts by the Bank of Indonesia. The market expanded for a fourth consecutive month in July, by close to 13% to 62,600 units, according to data compiled by the local industry association Gaikindo.

The small car segment inevitably will benefit most from a lower-interest rate environment and there were plenty of new models launched at the show to help support the market’s recovery.

The country’s largest vehicle manufacturer, Astra Daihatsu Motor (ADM), launched the Sigra, a new seven-seater family version of its existing Ayla low-cost green car (LCGC). The basic version comes with the same 1.0L engine and manual transmission and costs IDR107m (USD8,130). The top version gets a new 1.2L engine and automatic transmission and is priced at (IDR149m).

Toyota also displayed its own version of this car, the Calya, which only comes with the 1.2L engine and with prices ranging between IDR138-150m. Both the Sigra and the Calya are produced at Daihatsu’s Karawang plant, where the Toyota Agra and Daihatsu Ayla are made. Deliveries to dealers started in July with a combined monthly sales target understood to be around 6,000 units.

Nissan displayed an upgraded crossover version of its seven-seater Datsun Go + to help the model remain competitive in this expanding segment.

Toyota also showcased its new compact seven-seater MPV, the Sienta, based on the Yaris platform and powered by the same locally-made 1.5L engine. The model’s high-spec, including sliding doors, places it above the Avanza. It is expected to find an eager market in Indonesia alongside the hugely popular Honda BRV compact MPV. Deliveries started last month, with prices ranging between IDR230-295m.

Honda has launched a number of hit models in this market over the last three years, including the BRV at the beginning of 2016, which have almost tripled its market share to the current 20%. At the show, the company offered only launched new limited editions of existing models, however.

China’s Wuling was present at the show, displaying the Hong Guang compact MPV which it intends to produce locally from next year at the new plant it is building in Cikarang, some 70km east of Jakarta.  Initial capacity will be 40,000 units/per on one shift.

Suzuki‘s main model launch was the new SX4 S-cross, a 1.5L cross-over vehicle imported from India priced at between IDR247-260m, displayed alongside the Brezza.

New models arriving from Thailand include the new Mitsubishi Mirage small car, as well as new limited editions of the Pajero Sport and Triton pickup truck, while the facelifted Isuzu Mu-X pickup-derived SUV also went on sale at the show. At the next stand, Mazda launched the new Thai-made CX3 compact SUV.

Hyundai unveiled the new i20, which it imports from South Korea, while sister company KIA launched the new Sportage SUV and Sedona medium MPV. GM Indonesia also displayed the new Captiva SUV, which also comes as a built-up unit from South Korea.

Mercedes-Benz stole the show in the luxury segment with the launch of its new E-Class model, as well as the eye-catching SLC roadster, the C-class coupe and the C-63 AMG model. BMW officially launched sales of its i8 model and M4 GTS models, which will be delivered to order, while Audi launched the TTS sports coupe.

Jaguar Land Rover began selling its new Jaguar F-Pace SUV and the new XF sports coupe, both of which are imported from the UK.