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Indomobil to export scooters to developed countries

Following its success in penetrating the Southeast Asian market, PT Indomobil Sukses International Tbk. (IMAS) will start shipping motorcycles to developed countries by the end of this month.

The company plans to export 20,000 automatic scooters to Australia, Japan and some European countries this year, according to Indomobil commissioner Gunadi Sindhuwinata.

“We’re trying to cater to a new trend in these countries where people are starting to use small-engine motorbikes for daily activities,” said Gunadi on the sidelines of an Industry Ministry working meeting on Thursday.

He said Indomobil was upbeat about the export outlook in the countries as the company had a competitive edge, particularly in terms of low prices and good quality engines.

Once realized, exports of Suzuki scooters would help the industry meet its target of selling more than 50,000 two-wheelers overseas this year, up nearly 20 percent from last year.

Local motorcycle manufacturers shipped 41,746 units in the past year, up 53.85 percent from 2013, according to the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry (AISI).

Apart from Suzuki, other manufacturers like Honda and Kawasaki are also boosting their exports as part of efforts to expand their businesses.

Two-wheeler general marketing head of Indomobil’s marketing arm, PT Suzuki Indomobil Sales, Yohan Yahya, said that in its debut, between 800 and 1,200 motorbikes would be shipped to Japan, Spain and Italy by end of this month and the figure would gradually be increased to eventually reach 15 countries in Europe as well as Australia.

“We see a chance to compete with other producers existing in the European market. If we can get a foothold in this market, it will be easier to penetrate other destinations,” Yohan said, adding that the firm was also assessing the possibility of exporting the two-wheelers to other regions such as the Middle East and South America.

Currently, Indomobil operates a motorbike plant in Tambun, Bekasi, West Java, which has an installed capacity of around 1.5 million motorbikes each year, the majority of which serves the domestic market. Apart from motorbikes, the factory also assembles cars and produces auto components and spare parts.

The overseas market expansion will help the company to increase its current production rate of between 350,000 and 400,000 units per year.

Separately, PT Furukawa Indomobil Battery Manufacturing, a joint venture between Japanese battery maker Furukawa Battery Co. Ltd. and Indomobil, kicked off the operation of its battery plant in Purwakarta, West Java, as witnessed by Industry Minister Saleh Husin.

The 6.6-hectare factory, built with an investment of Rp 216 billion in the initial phase, produces batteries under the FB Battery brand, which will be used in Japanese-branded vehicles produced or sold by Indomobil Group, such as Nissan, Suzuki and Hino.

The industry minister said in a statement that he welcomed the operation of the factory as it would contribute to strengthening the domestic industry by using raw materials from local suppliers.

Source : www.thejakartapost.com, Friday 6 February 2015