Slower 2014 Growth Sees Drop in Car Sales


JANUARY 19, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesian car sales were slightly lower last year, dragged down by a nationwide economic slowdown in Southeast Asia’s largest country.

National car sales figures stood at 1.21 million units last year, down 2 percent from the year before at 1.23 million units, according to data from the Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo) released on Monday.

Vehicles by Astra International — such as Daihatsu, Toyota and Isuzu — made up 49 percent of the sales last year.

However company’s sales declined by 6 percent to 614,169 units, compared with last year.

“The biggest factor [in the decline] was our economic growth, which slowed down last year,” Gaikindo deputy chairman Jongkie Sugiarto told the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

Other major issues that continue to  drag down growth in car sales, according to Jongkie, is the depreciation of the rupiah against the US dollar, as well as the central bank’s higher policy rate.

The Indonesian economy grew by only 5.01 percent in the third quarter of last year — the weakest in five years.

Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia, raised its policy rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent last year in attempt to hold back expected inflation after the government’s decision to raise subsidized fuel prices.

This year, the central bank expects to see the economy grow between 5.4 percent and 5.8 percent.

According to Jongkie, a more upbeat forecast on the economy this year should, at least, maintain car sales at the same level as last year’s figures.

“[Gaikindo] has not yet set up a formal meeting, but this year’s car sales figure is expected to be, more or less, similar to last year, or around 1.2 million units,” he said.

Motorcycles sellers had a better year than the sellers of four-wheelers in 2014 as sales grew by 1.6 percent to approximately 7.9 million units.

Car sales