New vehicle sales in Indonesia were just slightly lower in January 2020, by 1.5% at 79,983 units compared with already weak year earlier sales of 81,218 units, according to member wholesale data compiled by industry association Gaikindo.

Bank Indonesia has continued to cut its benchmark interest rate, by 25 basis points to 4.75% in February, to help offset the negative effects of the global COVID19 coronavirus on exports, commodity prices and the tourism sector. 

This follows four similar cuts in 2019, from 6% to 5%, as the central bank looked to revitalise a sluggish economy which grew by around 5% over the full year.

Vehicle sales last year declined by 10.5% to 1,030,126 units from 1,151,291 in 2018.

Sales of passenger vehicles increased by 7.2% to 61,197 units in January, lifted by last year's interest rate cuts and promotional activity by dealers, while commercial vehicle sales plunged by over 22% to 18,786 units.

Toyota reported a 2.6% sales decline to 24,419 units last month, Daihatsu sales dropped 4% to 14,173, Honda booked 12,777 (+27%), Suzuki 10,512 (+27.1%) and Mitsubishi 9,179 (-21.6%).