Indonesia’s vehicle market is set to hit a new record high this year, according to PT Astra International – the country’s largest vehicle distributor. The company is majority-controlled by Singapore’s Jardine Cycle & Carriage.

Newly appointed president-director, Prijono Sugiarto, said low interest rates and bullish consumer sentiment are driving demand to new heights. “Provided that no new taxes are introduced, vehicle sales will reach a new record of at least 650,000 units in 2010”. “If we are lucky the market could hit 700,000 units,” he added.

This represents a significant upgrade compared with the 600,000 units forecast earlier in the year and depends on the government not raising road tax and car registration tax. The previous record high, at just under 608,000 units, was reached in 2008 – before sales fell back to 486,000 units in 2009.

The company has also upgraded the country’s overall motorcycle market forecast for this year to 6.7-6.8 million units, which is around 17% higher than last year.

Tony Pugliese