New vehicle sales in Indonesia continued to grow in September, by 6.2% to 93,103 units from 87,696 units in the same month of last year, according to wholesale data compiled by industry association Gaikindo.

The market enjoyed a strong spurt of growth in the third quarter, of 12% to 302,774 units, despite a series of interest rate hikes by the central bank in recent months in response to rupiah weakness. Economic growth in the country is expected to have been reasonably buoyant in the third quarter, at just over 5.3%, moderately better than the 5.16% first half growth. 

In the first nine months of the year, the overall vehicle market was 6.5% higher at 856,439 units compared with 803,812 units in the same period of last year, driven by a 20% jump in commercial vehicle sales to 204,558 units while sales of passenger vehicles were just 3% higher at 651,881 units.  

Toyota's sales over the nine month period declined by 7.4% to 267,400 units, mainly reflecting rising competition in the MPV segment, while Daihatsu was moderately better in second place with sales rising by 5.2% to 147,513 units.

Honda posted the sharpest decline among the major brands in this period, with sales falling by 15.1% to 117,742 units, while Mitsubishi Motors' sales almost doubled to 112,679 units reflecting strong demand for its Xpander compact MPV which was introduced just over a year ago.