Ministry of Industry and Trade officials in Indonesia say that Chinese manufacturers could achieve a 12 percent share of the car market, according to China Automotive News.

The officials said that two Chinese manufacturers, Chang'an and Wuling, had obtained permission to enter the Indonesian market.

The two manufacturers produce cars with engine sizes ranging from 800 to 1300cc which would sell in Indonesia for between 43 million and 45 million rupiahs ($US4,300 to $US4,500), about half the price of Japanese and European models currently on sale.

The Chinese manufacturers are expected to use their price advantage to gain market share, according to officials from the association of Indonesian car makers. Chinese motorcycle makers took 25 percent of the market in 2000.

The chairman of the Indonesia Automobile Import Association said 700 Chinese cars were about to go on sale.

Importers which used to sell Japanese and European brands also plan to import cars from China in a bid to attract more customers, the China Automotive News story said.

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