July 5 General Motors Co. is banking on a
no-frills "people mover" to help it make inroads into the
Japanese-dominated Indonesian car sector, one of Asia's hottest
Marcos Purty, head of GM's Indonesian operations, told
Reuters that production of the Chevrolet Spin - a van with three
rows of seats - at its newly restarted plant near Jakarta has
significantly pushed up sales.
The Spin, which is priced as low as at 139.7 million rupiah
($14,360), hit Chevrolet showrooms in Indonesia in early May,
and its impact has been felt almost instantly, according to
But the Detroit-based company is still miles behind its
Indonesia's overall auto market grew 25 percent to 1.1
million vehicles last year and is projected to grow another 10
percent this year. Japanese automakers hog more than 90 percent
of that market.
In June, GM sold 1,294 Spin vans, powering the company to
sell a total of 1,761 cars that month. While still small, the
volume was respectable compared to the company's annual volume
of 5,277 cars last year.
The GM plant, which shuttered in 2005, will have eventual
capacity to produce 40,000 Spin vans a year.
Indonesian consumers prefer simple no-frill vans, and the
Spin competes against similarly packaged and priced cars such as
the Toyota Avanza and Nissan Livina.
GM began shipping some of its Indonesia-made Spin cars to
Thailand this month and expects to start exporting them to the
Philippines next month.