New vehicle sales in Indonesia were flat year-on-year in December at around 39,000 units – according to estimates released by distributor PT Toyota Astra Motor. These figures, based on wholesale data, will contrast sharply with depressed volumes expected in most other Asia markets in December.

The Indonesian vehicle market has outperformed strongly throughout the year, fuelled by strong economic growth – estimated at 6.2% for the year. If the December data are confirmed, full-year sales will reach a record 607,000 units – 40% higher than in 2007.

By contrast, sales in Thailand deteriorated at an accelerating pace in the second half of the year after a relatively bright first-half. It now looks highly likely that Indonesia will take the honour of being Asean’s largest market for new vehicles for the first time in 2008.

Toyota sales rose by 28% year-on-year in December to 17,918 units, for a market share of almost 46% compared with 36% a year earlier. The Avanza compact MPV, made by PT Daihatsu Astra Motor, accounted for almost half of its sales.
However, the local trade association has said that it expects Indonesian car sales to decline in 2009 as the effects of the global credit crunch hit.
“For 2009, however, both car and motorcycles sales are expected to fall due to people’s weaker purchasing power amid the global economic crisis,” Indonesian Automotive Industries Association chairman Gunadi Sindhunata was quoted as saying by Dow Jones Newswires.
Sindhunata expects new vehicle sales this year to fall to around 400,000 units.

Tony Pugliese