New vehicle sales in Indonesia rose by 8.4% to 102,000 units in March, from 94,100 units a year earlier, according to data from industry sources.

The market continues to benefit from low interest rates and the launch of important new and replacement models over the last 18 months, while the country's economic growth has remained steady at around 5%.

First quarter sales were up by 6% at 283,300 units from 267,200 units a year earlier. This follows a 4.7% sales rise to 1,061,100 units last year, up from 1,013,300 units in 2015 after a two year decline. 

Among the new models that have helped drive the market forward are replacements for the popular Toyota Innova and Avanza MPVs in the second half of 2015 and the new generation Fortuner full-size SUV in early 2016. 

In the third quarter of last year, Toyota introduced a new compact MPV, the Sienta, and a seven seat variant of its Agya low-cost green car (LCGC), the Cayla. New models from Daihatsu and Honda have also helped drive up sales.

After a strong first quarter, industry lobby group Gaikindo is cautiously optimistic on the full year outlook for the market, predicting a 4% sales rise to around 1.1m units in 2017.

Suzuki, one of the brands that have struggled to keep up with the overall market over the last few years, launched its new Indian made Ignis compact crossover SUV this month.

Suzuki Indonesia Sales hopes this new model will lift the brand's sales by around 20% to 10,000 units per month for the remainder of the year, equivalent to a 10% share of the overall market.