Fri, 24 Jul 2009
Some of India’s biggest automotive manufacturers on Thursday expressed interest in possibly investing in Indonesian factories, underscoring the attractiveness of the market ahead of the opening of the country’s annual auto show, a senior Industry Ministry official said.

“Tata and Bajaj are likely to enter the Indonesian [automotive] market,” Budi Darmadi, the Industry Ministry’s director general of transportation, said on Thursday at the soft opening of the Indonesia International Motor Show in Jakarta, which officially opens today.

“I don’t know how much they will invest here,” Budi said. He did, however, note Tata’s 2008 opening of a 5 billion baht ($147 million) truck factory in Thailand with an annual capacity of 100,000 units.

Amarjit Singh Puri, Tata’s senior general manager for government affairs and collaboration, said the company started a feasibility study this month to explore the Indonesian market, but said it hadn’t decided on what kind of investment to make.

Puri said the study would be finished in three to six months.

“We are now looking at what kind of products we will focus on,” Puri said. “It could be the Nano, but not truck production because we already have a factory for that in Thailand.”

The Nano, which Tata started shipping last week, is an economy car with a price tag of about $2,800.

Budi said Bajaj had also expressed interest, but a company representative was not available for comment. Bajaj already has a presence here, but only for the production of motorcycles and three-wheelers.



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