Electric vehicle naysayers love to talk about the environmental impact of mining raw materials for batteries. While those arguments are often rooted in some degree of truth, they’re generally made as the only argument and are levied without much evidence for support. Though it’s true that mining and processing nickel, cobalt, lithium, and other materials is awful for the environment, we’re learning more about the geopolitical and financial implications of the practice.
Indonesia has reportedly received an investment proposal from Tesla Inc. requesting access to its nickel reserves. Once the largest producer of nickel in the entire world, Indonesia’s government started enacting regulations on the exportation of specific mineral ores in an effort to boost the local smelting industry and set up a more robust supply chain focused on lithium batteries.
This resulted in a huge price surge in 2019, as the nation began running mining opportunities under the noses of various industries that would be interested in the raw materials necessary for battery production.
Having recently announced plans to “popularize” battery electric vehicles, Toyota now expects half of its global volume to stem from electrified cars by 2025. That’s five years sooner than originally promised.
Toyota may seem perpetually averse to change but it has been making a lot of moves behind the scenes to ensure it’s at the forefront of a shifting market while also trying to future proof itself in the event that electrification winds up being a dead end. The plan is rather complex and, as I don’t want to re-write a 900-word article, I would like to redirect you to the relevant information.
However, as nuanced as Toyota’s overall strategy may be, the company is still going to need to spend truckloads of cash to remain in the game. With that in mind, the Japanese automaker appears to be investing $2 billion to develop electric vehicles in Indonesia over the next four years — with hybrids being first on the docket.
Indonesia is the biggest vehicle market in Southeast Asia, and Ford Motor Company is running away from it.
Last year, Renault-Nissan resurrected Datsun, positioning the brand for emerging markets — like India, Russia and Indonesia — with a portfolio of models that would attract new, young consumers whose wallets were a bit thin.
It’s not quite working out thus far.
Emerging markets have been a big theme at TTAC for the past few years, with our coverage going beyond the cursory articles on automotive developments in the BRIC countries. Our articles on places like North Africa and Indonesia aren’t always the most popular, but we keep an eye on them for a very important reason. These countries are the final frontier for growth in the automotive sector.
As far as emerging markets go, Indonesia is one of the hottest. “The country of 240 million people bought one million cars last year, and sales by some estimates are expected to double over the next three years,” says Reuters. The only trouble: Most of the cars are and will be Toyotas. GM wants to do something about it with a no-frill people mover designed in Brazil.
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.”
We continue our round-the-world-travels, exploring what the main car markets in the world looked like in 2012. We have gone through the Chinese, European, Russian, Indian, Israeli and Italian markets already, now let’s have a look at Indonesia…
Not really interested? That’s ok, you can check out the best-selling models and brands in 172 additional countries and territories on my blog. Enjoy!
Back to Indonesia. And for the first time ever in 2012, the Indonesian car market became… Damn me! You’re going to have to jump to find out…
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- Tassos Neons, new, used, or junk like this one, were the right car to own if you wanted it advertised what a lame loser you were.
- Damage My mother had a 78 with the FI motor. If you wound it out in first (not that she ever did) it would reward you with just a little tickle of torque steer. It was pretty reliable until water leaks from below the windshield found the fuse block. Once that was fixed, it was good for several more years. Eventually it got rusty and was sideswiped by a snowplow, and she sold it to my coworker who got several more years out of it. She traded it for a Mk2 Jetta, which was a fun little car. I don't miss the Rabbit but I'd love to find a clean Jetta again.
- Tassos in the same league as Tim's so-called "used deathtrap of the day" today.Both emiently junkworthy,
- 3SpeedAutomatic IIRC, the Deutschmark has appreciated significantly against the US dollar in the mid 70’s due to Nixon taking the US off the gold standard. VW was looking at any angle to reduce costs (cheap interior, broken door cranks, crappy carburetors) to hold the prices in line. That’s why it opened the US assembly plant. Yet, it alienated its clientele by Americanizing the Rabbit. To me, it never recovered in the US from the cost cutting and Americanized vehicles. I have never entertained the notion of buying a VW since.
- Tassos worthless pile of crap econobox. THe bottom of the barrel, and 20 years old.I'd take $100 to drive it to the junkyard.Tim goes back to his old ways...