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Car Made In Indonesia Is Arriving

Several local firms will conduct tests on Indonesian-brand vehicles before launching the models to tap the country’s car market, which is dominated by Japanese firms.

State-owned train manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Api (Inka) will produce a car under brand name Gea (a girl’s name in Indonesia), while Semarang State University (Unnes) is teaming up with local administrations to manufacture a car model named Arina.

An unnamed Serang-based company will also join in the race by producing a car called Tawon, which means “bee” in local dialect.

The Industry Ministry’s director general for transportation, telecommunications and informatics industries Budi Darmadi told The Jakarta Post recently that PT Inka was currently conducting tests on the car.

The directorate’s transportation industry director Syarif Hidayat said Inka had begun testing a 500 cubic centimeters capacity engine developed by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) after originally planning to incorporate a Chinese-made engine into the car.

“Inka, which already has a prototype, is now testing out the four-wheel Gea,” he said, adding that the company had yet to decide when it would start producing the four-seater car, which would be gasoline-powered.

Inka is ahead of its national rivals, including the team consisting of engineers from Unnes and local administrations, whose product is still in the design phase.

The Semarang-based team has produced five designs for a three-wheel vehicle that resembles a bajaj (motorized paddy cab), according to Hidayat.

“Arina, which has a capacity of three passengers, may be more suitable for carrying goods, although it can also accommodate passengers,” he said.

The Arina will be powered by a 500 cc gasoline engine.

“Although the car is scheduled to be produced next year, the team has yet to build a manufacturing plant,” Hidayat said.

This is in contrast to the team behind the Tawon, which has built a production facility in Serang, Banten, using capital supplied by a businessman from Surabaya who previously ran a wood businesses.

“The company has built a four-seater Tawon prototype and is conducting a series of tests, including an endurance test and a road-worthiness test,” Hidayat said.

The Tawon, which is powered by a 500cc engine that can run on compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas, was designed with a more environment friendly energy in mind.

The company has not announced a launch date for the car.

For decades, Indonesia’s automotive industry has been dominated by Japanese producers, which account for 87 percent of market share, selling 308,388 units between January and July this year.

Since the 1970s, the Indonesian government has encouraged local manufacturers to produce vehicles, including by providing various incentives to PT Astra International to partner with Japanese giant Toyota to launch its own brand.

However, Astra has never moved to expand beyond its role as assembler and distributor of Japanese-brand cars, and in particular Toyotas.

During the administration of late former President Soeharto, the government launched a national car program under which Soeharto’s son, Hutomo “Tommy” Mandala Putra, was granted tax breaks to produce vehicles.

The company, in partnership with South Korean company KIA Motor, produced the Timor brand, which was 60-percent comprised of local parts.

Despite producing thousands of the vehicles, the project was shelved following the fall of Soeharto in 1998.
Car Made In Indonesia Is Arriving Car Made In Indonesia Is Arriving Reviewed by Redaksi on 8:55 PM Rating: 5

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