Reuters takes a look at GM’s attempts to turn around their decades-long slog in Indonesia, with this gem highlighting the nature of their struggle.
“We started in Indonesia in 1938. We have been so successful, we have seven-tenths of a point of market share in 75 years. Are you (kidding) me?” Tim Lee, head of GM’s international operations, said in an interview. “That is not constancy of purpose.”
While GM has been in the country since before WWII, it’s only now that they have the kind of product that Indonesians actually want to buy. The Chevrolet Spin, above, will take on cars like the Toyota Avanza, Indonesia’s perennial best-seller, and other compact MPVs that dominate the Indonesian auto market.
Indonesia is a particularly enticing market for many auto makers. It is the most populous nation in Southeast Asia and the largest economy in the region as well. It also has one of the lowest rates of car ownership, with 32 vehicles per 1,000 people, compared to 132 per 1,000 people in Thailand and 300 per 1,000 people in Malaysia. The locally built Spin should at least give GM a fighting chance in the market, but you have to wonder if they’ll be able to achieve anything they couldn’t have already done in the last 75 years.