By Linda Yulisman
Major domestic automobile players are slated to introduce a number of new models during the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS), a move expected to tighten competition in Southeast Asia's largest automotive market.
Toyota Astra Motor (TAM), the joint venture between Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Indonesia's diversified group Astra International that sells cars under the Toyota brand, plans to exhibit 30 models during the show to run from Sept. 20 to Sept. 30 in the Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.
Seven out of the 30 would be models only recently launched onto the market, in both passenger and commercial categories, such as the Prius C, Grand New Fortuner VNTurbo, FJ Cruiser, New Vios TRD Sportivo and New Hilux D-Cab V, marketing director Joko Trisanyoto said on Thursday in Jakarta.
"We'll accept purchase orders during the event, but set no specific sales target," he said during a media briefing in the event.
In addition to these, Joko said, Toyota would also unveil a new model, but declined to comment further on the details.
According to previous reports, the car, slated to be Toyota's eco-friendly and cost-efficient model, will be its city car the Agya, to be produced jointly with Daihatsu.
The carmakers already jointly produce the Toyota Avanza, Daihatsu Xenia, Toyota Rush and Daihatsu Terios.
The Agya will be a rendition of the Aygo, a five-seater city car with a 1,000 cc-engine that has become popular in the Japanese market.
Themed "Goodness for Tomorrow", Joko said Toyota would present the concept of eco-mobility, with fuel efficient and eco-friendly cars and cars that used alternative fuel.
Another major automobile player Krama Yudha Tiga Berlian Motors, which is the authorised distributor of Mitsubishi vehicles, will also showcase at the IIMS several new models that have been recently introduced to the market, such as the Outlander and Pajero Sports, and one that has yet to be revealed in the market - the Mirage.
Assembled in Thailand, the Mirage is an eco-city car that utilizes a 1,000 cc-engine for sales in Japan, and a 1,200 cc-engine for sales in a number of other countries, including Indonesia.
The model, which will be available in Indonesia in three variants, will sell for between Rp 139 million (S$18,186) and Rp 165 million. "The Mirage will complement the Outlander and Pajero Sports, which have seen positive responses from the market," Rizwan Alamsjah, Krama Yudha's marketing director, said.
In the domestic market, the Mirage is expected to compete in terms of size and price with other city cars already on the market, including the Kia Picanto, Daihatsu Sirion, Suzuki Splash, Nissan March and the newly launched Honda Brio.
Experts have said that the trend of developing eco-friendly cars is part of automobile makers' efforts to cope with consumer demands for more fuel-efficient and low-cost cars amid surging fuel prices.
Under a low-carbon emission programme introduced earlier this year, the government aims to spur development of such low-cost "green" cars.
It is preparing various incentives, including a new fiscal incentive to encourage domestic manufacturers to make inexpensive and environmentally friendly cars.
Car sales reached a high record last year, settling at 894,164 units, up 19.93 per cent from 2010. During January to August this year, sales amounted to 714,152 units, up 23.13 per cent from a year earlier.
Local automakers are gearing up to take advantage of the automotive boom with sales expected to hit 1 million mark by year's end.