Indonesia sales surge 10-fold in April

Indonesia’s new vehicle market surged 10-fold to 78,908 units in April 2021 from extremely depressed year-earlier sales of 7,868 units, according to member wholesale data compiled by industry association Gaikindo.

April last year was the first full month of social and business lockdowns imposed by the government to help slow the initial spread of the COVID-19 virus, resulting in vehicle sales plunging by 90% year-on-year that month. 

The vehicle market this April was also lifted by a three-month suspension of the luxury tax on local passenger vehicles with engines smaller than 1,500cc, effective between March and May, as the government looked to kick-start the domestic economy.

The government said it would re-introduce 50% of the luxury tax in the subsequent three months, between June and August, rising to 75% until December.

Bank Indonesia kept its benchmark interest rate at a historic low of 3.50% to help stimulate domestic consumption. A survey by the central bank showed a marked improvement in consumer confidence in April, with optimism returning for the first time in a year as worries over the coronavirus pandemic eased. 

Government statistics show the number of recorded infections continued to fall sharply in the last two months as the roll out of vaccines gathered pace, but the risk of a new wave of infections remains significant.

GDP shrank by 0.7% year-on-year in the first quarter after a 2.1% decline in the fourth quarter of 2020, but a strong rebound is expected in the current quarter – with full-year GDP growth forecast at between 4.5% and 5.5%.

Total vehicle sales in the first four months of 2021 increased by 8.7% to 265,934 units from 244,758 units in the same period of last year, with passenger vehicle sales up by 2.5% at 194,308 units while commercial vehicle sales surged by almost 30% to 71,626 units.

Toyota reported a sales increase of 4.3% to 80,736 units year-to-date; followed by Daihatsu with a 3.2% rise to 51,036 units; Honda 33,867 units (-9.5%); Mitsubishi 32,707 (+29%); and Suzuki 27,769 units (+10%).

Gaikindo in March said it expects the vehicle market to rebound by around 30% to 750,000 units this year.

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