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By Fransiska Nangoy
JAKARTA May 8 Japan's Nissan Motor Co,
shrugging off the prospect of a further slowdown in the
Indonesian economy, said on Thursday it plans to significantly
expand its sales network and aims to boost sales by 55 percent
in the fiscal year ending March 2015.
Nissan said its sales volumes in Indonesia will start to
recover this year due to a just-launched line of no-frills cars
that qualify for certain tax breaks. Its volumes in Indonesia
fell 14 percent in the last fiscal year ended March 31.
Toru Hasegawa, head of PT Nissan Motor Indonesia, told a
small group of reporters on Thursday at a Nissan factory complex
near Jakarta that the company aims to sell 90,000 vehicles in
Indonesia this fiscal year, up from the 58,066 vehicles sold in
the year ended March 31.
Nissan will try to boost sales on the back of the new line
of affordable cars to be marketed under the resurrected Datsun
brand name, as well as by expanding its dealership network to 95
outlets for Datsun by the end of this fiscal year from the
current 39 outlets.
For the Nissan brand, the company currently has about 100
dealership outlets, which Nissan said will number 130 outlets by
the end of the fiscal year.
"Indonesia is a very promising market," Hasegawa told
reporters, pointing to the rise of middle-class buyers and a
relatively lower penetration of cars in the country.
"There is only 70 car ownership for every 1,000 population"
in Indonesia, which Hasegawa compared to Thailand's ratio of 150
cars per every 1,000 people and Malaysia's 250 cars.
"Sometimes, of course, there is turbulence, but in the mid
to long term it's very promising. The economy is very strong and
political situation is stable, so we are quite confident,"
Hasegawa said referring to Indonesia.
Southeast Asia's largest economy reported 5.2 percent growth
for the January to March quarter, lower than the estimated 5.6
Nissan, which officially opened a second Indonesia assembly
plant in Purwakarta, a town southeast of Jakarta, with eventual
capacity to manufacture 150,000 vehicles a year, recently began
producing at the new plant a Datsun model called GO+Panca.
Company officials said Nissan began taking orders on Thursday,
and that dealers plan to begin delivering the car in June.
The company said the Datsun GO+Panca will start at 85
million rupiah, or about $7,300.
In the first two years of Datsun's launch, Nissan expects to
sell 40,000 Datsun cars in Indonesia, according to the company.
Nissan officials have said it is optimistic about the future
of the Datsun brand because the Indonesian government appears
poised to continue to provide policy support to ignite demand
for affordable cars, chiefly through a program called "low-cost
green cars" (LCGC) where the government is providing tax breaks
for cars with high local content and fuel efficiency.
Hasegawa said Nissan estimates LCGC cars on the whole to
make up 15 percent to 20 percent of total car sales this year in
Indonesia. Gaikindo, an Indonesian association of automakers and
other companies operating in the automotive industry, estimates
the market to generate 1.2 million cars in sales for calendar
Nissan is currently investing 33 billion yen in Indonesia to
boost the company's annual manufacturing capacity to 250,000
vehicles a year from the current 100,000 vehicles.
(Reporting By Fransiska Nangoy in JAKARTA and Norihiko Shirouzu
in BEIJING; Editing by Ryan Woo)