Competitions Amidst ptimism

It is no wonder that the Kijang, advertised as a people carrier able to transport family and neighbors, is a popular choice. Other multi-purpose vehicles MPVs), such as the Honda Odyssey with a capacity of seven passengers, and the Grandis or Nissan MPV, are all spacious. But these three vehicles can only be afforded by a certain segment as they carry quite high price tags. So most people choose the Kijang, with its affordable price.

There are several things that Indonesian buyers want in a car. These include attractive model, a widely known brand, affordable price, economical, high resale value, able to carry many passengers, after sales service, a broad service network and availability of spare parts. Widely known brands have the most pulling power, for example the Toyota Avanza and the Daihatsu Xenia, the “twin brothers” that are manufactured at the Daihatsu plant, PT Astra Daihatsu Motor in Sunter, North Jakarta. Avanza and Xenia, categorized as economical cars, are often referred to as the little siblings of the Kijang.

However, competition between car brands in the price range of Rp 130 million to Rp 250 million is indeed tough. Many car manufacturers are getting ready to launch their latest models for this lucrative segment. Earlier this year, PT Nissan Motor Indonesia launched the Grand Livina. With prices lower than the Kijang and more efficient fuel consumption, this new MPV has been touted by some analysts to become the “Kijang killer”. Nissan said it had received an influx of orders soon after it unveiled the new car.

It has yet to be seen if the new car will be able to take away a portion of Kijang’s slice of the market. Besides the Grand Livina, Nissan also sells the Serena, the Terano, X-Trail, the Frontier, the Teana and the Murano.

As the market leader, Toyota will obviously not take the competition lying down. There are rumors that the “King of the Indonesian car market” is currently busy tinkering with an innovative multipurpose vehicle project so that its market share remains solid. Clearly, competition between major car manufacturers will be tight next year. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, October 02, 2007

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