Sat, 29 Apr 2000

KIA Motor eyes 10% of RI auto market

KUTA, Bali (JP): PT KIA Mobil Indonesia, the sole distributor of South Korean KIA Motors' products targets between eight and ten percent of Indonesian market annually.

Company chief commissioner AM Hendropriyono briefed journalists here on Thursday evening that with the sales target his company would ship a total of 14,900 cars of various types from South Korea per year.

Hendropriyono made the statements before the opening of KIA Motors Corporation distributors conference, which involved distributors from 15 countries. The event took place at the Kartika Plaze Hotel here.

He said he was optimistic the company would reach the target because KIA had 50 car and spare part distributors in 22 provinces in the archipelago, and KIA products had superiority compared to Japanese, European and American products.

"Our products are competitive against European cars," Hendro claimed.

One of the superiority of KIA products was the price, he said. "Carnival, the newly introduced family van, costs only Rp 245 million (US$30,625) each, whereas a car of the same class, such as Caravelle, costs Rp 575 million."

Carnival minivan of 2,500 cc, which was launched in Indonesia only last year, has sold 800 units until March 31, 2000, the company data say.

In the same period, 350 units of four-wheeled, 2,000-cc Sportage, were sold.

"In Bali alone we have sold 200 Sportage," Hendropriyono said.

"KIA products have good resale value. A used Carnival is still valued at Rp 240 million. Yet people are competing to buy it," Hendropriyono said, assuring that KIA products marketed in Indonesia were of the same specification with those sold in other countries like the U.S. and Europe.


Meanwhile, director general of KIA Mobil Indonesia Agus Tjahajana said in his address to the conference participants that the government of Indonesia had been working out to deregulate import licensing.

In June of last year, the government launched a new automotive policy to anticipate a global trade liberalization as ruled by WTO regulations, Agus said.

"The new policy had taken into account both external and internal factors. The first is the global change in automotive sector, the second is the condition of regional automotive industry, especially those in ASEAN countries, the third is the international and regional deals. The internal factors taken into account are continuation of the development of the existing automotive industry and the availability of more affordable cars," he said.

"I therefore would like to assure all of you that there will be no more unfair business practice in automotive business in Indonesia."

According to Agus, the domestic market was prospective in the near future as Indonesian economy was on the way to recovery.

"I could ensure all of you that investment climate in Indonesia is quite conducive and becomes more conducive in the time to come." (zen/sur)