Astra leads as vehicle sales up 21.5% in Sept.

Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post

The Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) has reported a 21.5 percent rise in vehicle sales, excluding motorcycles, in September to 34,100 units from 28,000 units in August.

Astra Group, which locally manufactures and sells vehicles under the Toyota, Daihatsu, Isuzu, BMW and Nissan Diesel brands, enjoyed a 24 percent increase in sales, the highest among all the distributors, which mostly reported 19 percent increases

Within the Astra Group itself, the highest sales growth was recorded by Toyota with a 31.7 percent increase, followed by Isuzu on 12.4 percent and Nissan Diesel on 5.7 percent .

Besides Astra, the next highest sales growth in September was notched up by Mitsubishi at more than 30 percent, followed by Suzuki on 25 percent.

Despite the launch of the new Honda Jazz car last month, Honda suffered a 6 percent decline in sales in September.

Although monthly sales were still far lower than those recorded in 2005, the sharp increase in September sales would seem to indicate the start of a recovery in the country's automotive market.

Vehicle sales between January and September stood at 234,000 units, 47 percent lower than the 440,000 units sold in the same period last year.

According to Gaikindo, as of September, Astra continued to dominate the country's automotive market with a 53 percent market share, while the other distributors shared the remaining 47 percent between them.

Toyota remains the most popular make in the country. Toyota's luxury sedan, the All New Camry, for example, reported a 400 percent increase in its September sales to 184 units, accounting for 56.6 percent of the market in its class.

Sales of the New Avanza and Kijang Innova also reported a big jump at 47.7 percent and 31.6 percent, respectively, in September.

"Particularly in the case of the Kijang Innova and Avanza, Toyota cars are the favorite choice for people who want to go to their hometowns for the Idul Fitri holiday," said Toyota Astra Motor president director Johnny Darmawan.

"To ensure the safety and comfort of our customers traveling home for Idul Fitri, we will open service posts at many spots along the major routes," he added.
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