Sat, 27 Aug 1994

General Motors to use RI as base for Southeast Asia

BEKASI, West Java (JP): The Detroit-based General Motors Corp., through its affiliate PT General Motors Buana Indonesia (GMBI), will use Indonesia as its industrial base for Southeast Asia, an executive says.

"General Motors has given the green light for the plan and I have urged the company to develop the industrial base as soon as possible," GMBI's chairman, Probosutedjo, told reporters after a ceremony for the launching of GMBI's first product, the Opel Vectra sedan, at its assembly compound in Bekasi.

The ceremony was attended by the visiting chairman of Adam Opel AG of Germany, David J. Herman, U.S. Ambassador Robert L. Barry and German Ambassador Walter Lewalter.

GMBI is a joint venture 60 percent owned by General Motors and 40 percent by PT Garmak Motors, a company chaired by Probosutedjo. The venture was set up in September last year with an investment of US$110 million.

GMBI's president Leonard L. Brownfield told The Jakarta Post that General Motors is committed to expanding its auto industry for the regional market.

For that reason, General Motors will transfer technology and hold training courses for human resource development in Indonesia, he said.


He said General Motors will be supported by 14 U.S.-Indonesian ventures which will soon be set up.

"According to the U.S. ambassador, next month 15 additional U.S. component manufacturers will come to Indonesia to look for joint venture partners to manufacture automotive parts," Brownfield said.

General Motors has thus far operated a General Motors Asian and Pacific Operation office in Singapore, and a number of joint ventures in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Probosutedjo said GMBI will produce Opel Vectra and Optima sedans for the domestic market and commercial vehicles for export to Southeast Asia.

Husin Sumarno, a GMBI director, said the company will sell Opel Vectra, equipped with a 2000-CC engine, at some Rp 90 million (US$41,455), and Optima, with a 1,800-CC engine at some Rp 75 million.

The company will likely start producing Optima in 1996, he said. Both Vectra and Optima will use engines to be made in Germany.

He said GMBI expects to assemble 5,500 sedans per year.

Husin said GMBI will likely start producing Chevrolet light commercial vehicles with a capacity of 10,000 units per year in 1997. (fhp)