Indonesia auto sales in strong start to year with 27 pct Jan rise

JAKARTA Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:45pm EST

JAKARTA Feb 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia auto sales climbed 26.5 percent in January, a strong start to the year after a record 2012 underpinned by sharp climbs in wages and low interest rates.

A key indicator of domestic consumer spending, auto sales have been emblematic of rapid growth for Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

January sales rose to 96,656 vehicles. The rise was faster than the 11.4 percent year-on-year climb marked in December. Sales rose 8 percent from a month earlier.

According to the Indonesia Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo), sales were led by Toyota Motor Corp, Mitsubishi Motors Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp.

Some analysts have forecast double-digit growth in 2013 after a jump of 25 percent to 1.1 million vehicles last year despite new down payment requirements for auto purchases which were aimed at pushing down loan growth.

Nissan Motor Co logged its best ever January sales of 5,409 vehicles in Indonesia, up 3.9 percent from a year earlier, helped by sales of its multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) models Grand Livina and Evalia.

Nissan has said it considers Indonesia key to its bid to resurrecting Datsun as its emerging market brand.

Following is a table of auto sales in 2012-2013, based on Gaikindo data. Month Volume m/m y/y

(cars) pct pct Jan 96,656 8.0 26.5 Dec 89,456 -13.7 11.4 Nov 103,703 -2.9 53.3 Oct 106,754 4.6 23.6 Sep 102,100 33.6 27.9 Aug 76,445 -25.4 4.3 Jul 102,511 0.8 15.1 Jun 101,746 6.5 45.0 May 95,541 9.6 56.5 Apr 87,144 -0.9 43.5 Mar 87,917 1.7 7.0 Feb 86,486 13.2 24.3 Jan 76,427 -4.9 3.3

(Reporting by Rieka Rahadiana; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)