New vehicle sales in Indonesia continued to surge ahead in March, with volumes rising by more than 15% to 99,957 units compared with 86,817 units in the same month of 2012, according to data collected by the Gaikindo automotive industry association. 

The market trend remains positive despite tighter lending, particularly minimum loan down-payments of up to 30% applying also to the Sharya banking sector from the end of last year.

Conventional banks had to increase their down-payment requirements in June last year.

First-quarter sales increased by more than 18% to 295,912 units, from 249,589 units in the same period of last year.

Gaikindo expects sales to rise only slightly this year, from last year’s 1.1m units, with low interest rates and a broadening range of new models underpinning the market.