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National car makers may need only $100m

Manufacturers of three new national car prototypes might need a combined investment of US$100 million to launch assembly plants to mass produce three future brands — namely the Tawon, Gea and Arina, the Industry Ministry has forecast.

Panggah Susanto, the Industry Ministry director for land and military transportation, said Tuesday that each of the three national car brand owners would require more than $30 million to build an assembly plant, with a production capacity of 5,000 to 10,000 units per annum.

“But the investment required will depend on the factory production scale each producer wants,” he said.

He said Gea, Arina and Tawon, (the latter means “bee” in local dialect) were still at the prototype stage and were yet to announce their launch schedules.

“The process [for national cars] to get into consumers’ hands will take a while. Producers, of course, are considering whether their cars will be sold out or not.”

The three cars are expected to be priced at around Rp 50 million ($5,000) each.

The four-wheel Gea has been developed and tested by the producer, state-owned train manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Api (Inka), since last year.

Meanwhile, Arina and Tawon are being developed by Semarang State University (Unnes), which is teaming up with local administrations, while an unnamed Serang-based company is making the Tawon.

Inka uses a 500 cubic centimeters (cc) capacity engine developed by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) after initially planning to incorporate a Chinese-made engine.
Inka plans to run the four-seater car on gasoline.

Meanwhile, the Semarang-based team has produced five designs for the three-wheel Arina, resembling a bajaj — a motorized pedicab.

With a capacity of three passengers, Arina, powered by a 500 cc gasoline engine, may be suitable for both carrying goods and accommodating passengers.

For the four-seater Tawon, its producer has built a production facility in Serang, Banten, using capital supplied by a businessman from Surabaya who previously ran a wood business.

Powered by a 500 cc engine, the Tawon is designed with a more environment friendly energy in mind, running on compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas.

The country’s conventional automotive market has been dominated by Japanese producers, dominating close to 90 percent of the country’s vehicle market, so maybe a small new low-cost national car might fly.
National car makers may need only $100m National car makers may need only $100m Reviewed by Redaksi on 8:38 PM Rating: 5

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