The Volkswagen Microbus, Mazda MPV and GMC Safari. These are the now-departed vans that were driven by their rear wheels, but ultimately fell victim to market forces, technological progress or the insurmountable drive to make cars greener and safer. With the Microbus just recently going out of production, Toyota is the sole torch bearer for the rear-drive van. But you’ll have to go to Indonesia to find it.
In the olden days, when a Bentley was a rebadged Rolls Royce (or vice versa), it was easy to mistake one for the other. Bentley cleverly leveraged its “smart shopper” image into sales that were an order of magnitude higher than those of Rolls. Ever since Volkswagen forgot to check the trademark files, and subsequently lost Rolls to BMW while keeping Bentley (to still much bigger success), those days are over, and the respective overlords in Wolfsburg and Munich get alarmed if there is any confusion. The news still haven’t reached Indonesia, or so it seems. (Read More…)
With the largest economy and biggest population in Southeast Asia, Indonesia also has one of the lowest rates of car ownership. Although the market is set to expand by more than 50 percent in five years, Toyota dominates 90 percent of that market – and General Motors wants a piece of it.
Carmakers don’t want to be caught napping when the “next China” is at stake. They are setting their sights on Southeast Asia. Currently en vogue: Indonesia. The country with a population of 237 million has a bullet on the PowerPoints of most major carmakers. Toyota is already there and wants to double down. (Read More…)
GM knows where the growth is: In the emerging markets, BRICs and beyond. GM announced today it will “invest $150 million in the reactivation of its Bekasi manufacturing facility in West Java, Indonesia.” (Read More…)
The 19th Indonesian International Motor Show (IIMS) is currently taking place at the JIExpo in the capital city, Jakarta, with almost all the world’s major automakers represented at a show which is quite simply bigger, bolder and brasher than ever before. There is a real spring in the step here as this huge, underdeveloped nation of 238 million people, the fourth-most populated in the world, stands poised to unlock the potential of its auto industry and become a major player on the world stage. Indonesia is standing at a crossroads and everyone is preparing to join the party.