Smaller the better for Japanese cars in Indonesia

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Honda’s “kei” car

Indonesia’s rising middle class is getting hungry for mobility. But not all carmakers are making it in the race to capture one the world’s fastest growing consumer populations.

To become the winner, an innovation away from tough, tank-like automobiles towards more nimble, affordable models will be required.

In Indonesia, Japanese models remain in vogue. At the fore, Honda saw year-on-year sales double, recording most of the purchases in 2013, while Suzuki’s sales in June reached 15,578 units, up 37 percent from the same month last year.

Meanwhile, Astra International, which sells brands including Toyota and Daihatsu, has seen sales loss acceleration.

Astra sold 53,112 units in June, 3.7 percent less than the 55,143 units in May, recording the lowest monthly sales since March, according to data released by the carmaker on July 15.

For the first six months of 2013, Astra sales have risen just 7 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

The ebbing away at Astra’s market by Honda and Sukuki begs the question: What is leading the shift?

Some in Japan, the land that coined the kei car – or small vehicles – have taken a more refined approach to gauging the needs of emerging markets, where fuel subsidies are a political destabilising issue.

“We have fairly low-priced cars in those [emerging] markets already, but in India and markets like Indonesia, we need even smaller, even more affordable cars,” Honda’s chief spokesman Masaya Nagai was quoted in The Star.

Honda, however, is not alone in its revision efforts.

Perhaps taking the inkling that much needed catch-up is required for Indonesia, Toyota has already begun applying kei car technology to development mini cars for Indonesia.

In the Darwinian race to edge into Indonesia, perhaps it will come down to survival of the smallest.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Honda’s “kei” car

Indonesia’s rising middle class is getting hungry for mobility. But not all carmakers are making it in the race to capture one the world’s fastest growing consumer populations.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

img_6064
Honda’s “kei” car

Indonesia’s rising middle class is getting hungry for mobility. But not all carmakers are making it in the race to capture one the world’s fastest growing consumer populations.

To become the winner, an innovation away from tough, tank-like automobiles towards more nimble, affordable models will be required.

In Indonesia, Japanese models remain in vogue. At the fore, Honda saw year-on-year sales double, recording most of the purchases in 2013, while Suzuki’s sales in June reached 15,578 units, up 37 percent from the same month last year.

Meanwhile, Astra International, which sells brands including Toyota and Daihatsu, has seen sales loss acceleration.

Astra sold 53,112 units in June, 3.7 percent less than the 55,143 units in May, recording the lowest monthly sales since March, according to data released by the carmaker on July 15.

For the first six months of 2013, Astra sales have risen just 7 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

The ebbing away at Astra’s market by Honda and Sukuki begs the question: What is leading the shift?

Some in Japan, the land that coined the kei car – or small vehicles – have taken a more refined approach to gauging the needs of emerging markets, where fuel subsidies are a political destabilising issue.

“We have fairly low-priced cars in those [emerging] markets already, but in India and markets like Indonesia, we need even smaller, even more affordable cars,” Honda’s chief spokesman Masaya Nagai was quoted in The Star.

Honda, however, is not alone in its revision efforts.

Perhaps taking the inkling that much needed catch-up is required for Indonesia, Toyota has already begun applying kei car technology to development mini cars for Indonesia.

In the Darwinian race to edge into Indonesia, perhaps it will come down to survival of the smallest.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
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  • Afraid