Japanese automakers Honda, Suzuki and Mitsubishi Motors pledged to invest over US$1.2bn in Indonesia over the next four years to expand production capacity and to produce electric vehicles (EVs) in the country, according to local reports citing a senior government official.

Indonesian industry minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, during a visit to Japan last week, told reporters the three automakers confirmed their commitment to investing in Indonesia.

He also encouraged the automakers to take advantage of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between Indonesia and Australia (IA-CEPA), which was signed in 2019.

The minister told reporters in a virtual press conference: "Honda has committed to increasing its investment in Indonesia by IDR5.2trn (US$361m) by 2024. This will include development of new models in Indonesia."

He suggested Honda plans to establish a global production hub for components and complete vehicles in the country.

Agus added Honda plans to move a factory to Indonesia and a new car battery-powered model will go into production in the country.

He suggested a new model unique to Indonesia would go into production there, and be exported to 31 countries. 

The company currently exports components and vehicles to nine countries in the ASEAN region, Middle East and Japan. A further 22 export markets will be added, including in Asia, Africa, North America and Central and South America. 

The minister also met with Mitsubishi Motors executives who revealed company plans to invest a reported IDR11.2trn ($779m) in the next four years to bring online the new Xpander hybrid and plug-in hybrid and to expand capacity at the Bekasi plant, just east of the capital city Jakarta, to 250,000 units per year from the current 220,000.

The company said it plans to expand the number of export markets from Indonesia from 30 to 39 countries.

Suzuki executives confirmed plans to invest IDR1.2trn ($83m) by 2024 to bring on stream the new Ertiga minivan and XL7 SUV models.

Toyota had previously pledged to invest US$2bn in Indonesia by 2024 to help drive the government's push for electric vehicles. The automaker confirmed it would expand the number of export markets to 100 from Indonesia.