Thu, 02 Oct 2003

Kijang output hits 1 million mark

Sari P. Setiogi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMI) launched on Wednesday its one-millionth Kijang van, making it the first four- wheeled vehicle in the country to reach the one-million production mark.

The Kijang has become the most popular van in the country since it was first launched 1987, with users now ranging from the rich to middle and lower income people.

First launched as a basic utility vehicle designed mostly to carry goods, it is now a multipurpose vehicle used to carry goods and people alike.

Now selling for between Rp 130 million (US$15,300) and Rp 150 million, the van controls 68 percent of the domestic market in its class, according to TMMI.

In the first eight months of the year, Toyota produced 44,758 Kijangs and sold 43,758 of them on the domestic market. Sixty percent of Kijang parts are produced locally.

Today, aside from being sold on the local market, Kijang vans are exported to Brunei, the South Pacific, Papua New Guinea and East Timor in completely built-up (CBU) form and to South Africa, Malaysia and the Philippines and Taiwan in completely knocked down (CKD) form.

In the first seven months of the year, the cumulative export value reached $715 million.

President director of PT Toyota Astra Motor, Johny Darmawan, said he was optimistic that the Kijang as well as other vehicles made by Toyota would continue to attract local customers.

He said Toyota car sales were expected to reach 99,000 this year or 29 percent of the national car sale target for the year. The firm expects about 80 percent of the predicted 99,000 cars it sells this year to be Kijangs.

In the past, Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan's largest automaker, manufactured and sold its products on the local market through Toyota Astra Motor. However, the firm recently split its operation into two separate units: Toyota Astra Motor for distribution and after sales service, and TMMI, with 4,378 employees, for production.