PT Isuzu Astra Motor Indonesia (IAMI), the authorized distributor and assembler of Isuzu vehicles in Indonesia, is to export trucks for the first time at the end of this year.
President director Yohannes Nangoi said on Monday that the company would ship between 6,000 and 8,000 trucks to countries in Asia, Africa and South America.
The commercial vehicles would come from the firm’s new plant in Kawasan Industri Suryacipta, Karawang Timur, West Java, which would kick off operations next month, he added.
The plant, built with an investment of Rp 1.7 trillion (US$130.26 million), will, initially, produce 52,000 commercial vehicles annually. The capacity could later increase to 80,000 units.
“We will focus on meeting demand from developing nations for vehicles particularly used for heavy loading and work in difficult areas,” Yohannes told reporters after meeting Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel.
At present, Isuzu’s exports consist of autoparts, such as engine blocks and body parts. The company ships, for instance, 50,000 engine blocks to Thailand each year, as well as other parts to neighboring Asian nations including India, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Following the opening of its new plant, IAMI—a joint venture between Indonesia’s largest diversified group PT Astra International and Japanese automobile manufacturer Isuzu Motors Limited — plans to close its existing facility in Bekasi, which is able to assemble up to 28,000 trucks and pick-ups yearly.
The planned additional shipment of Isuzu vehicles is in line with the government’s ambitious goal of tripling non-oil and gas exports by 2019.
Exports of automobiles and autoparts have increased considerably in recent years, driven by automotive investment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, and are led by major carmakers PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN) and PT Astra Daihatsu Motor (ADM).
The manufacturers of motorcycles are following the lead of carmakers, which have succeeded in expanding to overseas markets.
Indonesia’s third-largest motorcycle seller Suzuki Indomobil (SIM) last month began shipping automatic scooters to 24 countries in Europe, Japan, Oceania and Southeast Asia. SIM is set to be imitated by Astra Honda Motor (AHM), which will deliver products to peers in ASEAN in June.
Rachmat said after the meeting that he expected IAMI to allocate 20 percent of its output for exports, while maintaining the biggest share of the local market.
“I want to see the ratio of export and sales for the domestic market to stand at 20 percent against 80 percent. This will support our goal to raise exports by 300 percent [within five years],” he said.
IAMI has seen its domestic sales dwindle by 10.31 percent to 28,279 units, leaving it with a 2.34 percent share in the overall market.
The downward trend also encompassed other producers of commercial vehicles like trucks and pick-ups, largely as a result of falling commodity prices, which have curbed plantation and mining activities. (Linda Yulisman, The Jakarta Post)