Sat, 06 Aug 1994

Lamborghini expected to develop Megatech cars

SURABAYA, East Java (JP): Millionaire Setiawan Djody said here yesterday his reason for acquiring the well-known Italian super car manufacturer, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.a., is to transfer automotive technology to Indonesia.

"I'm not only a profit-oriented businessman but also a people- oriented entrepreneur," Djody told reporters during a press conference.

Djody, who is well known for his diverse interests, including in music, was showing off two of his Diablo super cars. The Diablo is Lamborghini's flagship model with a maximum speed of 325 kilometers per hour.

Business analysts earlier labeled the purchase of the Italian car maker early this year from the U.S.-based Chrysler Corporation "mysterious" on the grounds that both sides refused to talk about the amount involved.

The Hong Kong-based Asia Inc. monthly magazine reported in July that there were a number of hidden reasons behind what it called the US$50 million deal. Figures named by other sources valued the deal at from $40 million to $100 million.

The 45-year-old Djody declined to comment about the amount yesterday, saying that he will only reveal the number if Megatech Ltd., the major shareholder of Lamborghini, offers its shares to the public.

He said that he wants to exploit the know-how of Lamborghini and to develop another automobile firm in Indonesia under the brand name of Megatech.

He added that the Italian car manufacturer is currently 20 percent owned by the Kuala Lumpur-based Mycom Bhd. and 80 percent by the Bermuda-based Megatech Ltd., which is controlled 50/50 by Hutomo Mandala Putra, the youngest son of President Soeharto, and himself.


The Italian company, founded by farm-machinery industrialist Ferrucio Lamborghini in 1963, is based in Sant' Agata, a small town near Bologna, Italy.

Lamborghini, which is famous because of its exclusive super- car production, was sold for $25 million to Chrysler in 1987 following a long recession in Europe.

Djody hinted in yesterday's press conference that the deal was worth more than $125 million on the grounds that Chrysler had invested more than $100 million in research for the development of two new types of Lamborghini.

He told reporters that while the Sant' Agata-based Lamborghini continues to produce exclusive super cars, the Indonesia-based Megatech will developed middle-class cars, adding that Megatech is now making feasibility studies on building its own factory in the country.

"The first priority is Surabaya. But if we cannot get a plot, we will construct the plant in Bekasi, West Java," he said, adding that Megatech will invest between $300 million and $400 million in the automotive industry.

"The products will be purely Indonesian products because Lamborghini belongs to Indonesian people," he said, while showing visiting journalists the newly designed World Modular Engine (WME) and the Tigre Modular Car.

Lamborghini's engineers developed the prototype engines and put the name "Megatech," instead of Lamborghini, on top of them.

Megatech aims to use the engines, designed with between 0.9- liter and 2-liter displacements, for small sedans or trucks for the growing middle classes in Indonesia, China and India.

The flamboyant Djody, who once recorded a rock music album, Kantata Takwa, with a number of well-known musicians, including Iwan Fals, said that he believes the buying power of middle class people in those countries is strong enough to purchase the products of Megatech.

His wife, Etty, 44, and eldest daughter, Natali, 24, who has just graduated from college and started to help the family's business, also attended yesterday's exhibition.

Djody is the chairman of the Jakarta-based Setdco business group, whose interests range from the shipping, mining, property and automobile industries to the music sector. (09)