Wed, 31 Mar 1999

GM denies halting expansion

JAKARTA (JP): PT General Motors Indonesia, the Indonesian arm of the U.S-based automotive manufacturer General Motors (GM), denied on Tuesday that it has halted its expansion plans in Indonesia, but admitted to "temporarily canceling" certain projects because of the country's economic problems.

Company president William S. Botwick told The Jakarta Post the company was currently investing in developing new models and improving services to its customers.

"We will never stop investing here because we are convinced we can emerge as the leader in the industry when the crisis is over," he said.

He said the company was currently developing more economical cars, designed to suit to the budget-conscious Indonesian market, which would be launched once the business situation improved.

"We are looking to launch new products, and will, but we will launch them when the market conditions are right," he said.

Botwick forecast the economy to improve after the June general election, which is hoped to create more political certainty.

He said Opel's share in the country's sports utility vehicle market had reached 51 percent in the first two months of this year, from 50 percent at the end of last year. (gis)