Tangerang. After several delays this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Indonesia International Auto Show was finally launched on Thursday involving 22 major brands under strict health protocols.
Visitors must show proof of having been vaccinated against Covid-19 and a mask mandate is imposed in all areas of the venue at Indonesia Convention Center in the district of Tangerang just south of Jakarta.
Tickets are sold through a mobile app only with certain visiting hours to prevent crowding.
“We hope this exhibition will support the revival of the automotive industry, which has expansive multiplier effects,” chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto said in his opening remarks.
He also indicated the government’s ambition to establish a thorough electric vehicle ecosystem and a call for major producers to support it.
“There are a number of electric vehicles being exhibited here and hopefully they will trigger the making of a supply chain ecosystem,” he said.
Indonesia has the necessary materials such as cobalt and nickel to support the domestic battery industry and the presence of global automakers capable of building electric vehicles, Airlangga added.
"Our domestic market is another advantage that will allow a complete supply chain and we aspire to keep the whole industry at home with potential export sales to many other countries," he said.
The country’s biggest auto show is organized by the Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers Association or Gaikindo.
Domestic car sales are estimated to reach 850,000 units this year, an increase of 530,000 on the figures last year. Export sales are projected to surpass 300,000 units.
The event is the only automotive exhibition in Indonesia that receives accreditation from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA).
“The Gaikindo auto show is the exhibition of automotive technology. It’s also an event that provides knowledge to the world about Indonesia’s latest development in the automotive industry,” Gaikindo chairman Yohannes Nangoi said.
As expected, Japanese auto giants like Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Daihatsu dominated the main stage with the latest version of various models already popular in the Indonesian market.
Toyota introduced the latest variant of small multi-purpose vehicle Avanza, which has been dominating the market since the first model was introduced in 2004.
South Korea’s Hyundai revealed five-seater Creta, its first model to be developed and built in its West Java assembly plant. Hyundai labels Creta as “made in Indonesia, for Indonesia”.
Wuling grabbed some attention by displaying a number of small electric vehicles it brought from China, noticeable from the left-hand steering wheel and the Chinese characters on instruction panels.
Since arriving in Indonesia in 2017, Wuling has recorded strong growth with annual sales topping 22,000 in 2019 alone. After a sluggish 2020 due to the pandemic, the company managed to sell over 10,000 units in the first half of 2021.