Faisal Maliki Baskoro
Luxury car maker Lexus Indonesia introduced four new models on Wednesday in a bid to cash in on the nation’s booming auto market.
The Japanese car maker unveiled two SUVS — the RX 350 F-Sport and the hybrid RX 450h — as well as the hybrid CT 200h hatchback and the convertible IS 300C sedan on Wednesday. The company expects sales to increase 30 percent this year, reaching 600 units, amid high demand for luxury cars, Johnny Darmawan, president director of Toyota Astra Motor, said.
Indonesia’s premium car market has been insulated from the weakening rupiah, the president director said. In fact, Lexus’ pricier cars are in higher demand than its more affordable models.
“We thought that our more affordable LS models would drive sales
volume here, but as it turns out, our best selling car is the top of the
line RX 350. If you want to buy an RX, you’ll have to wait three months because we’re flowing with demands,” he said.
The Lexus RX 350 retails for some Rp 1.17 billion ($124,000) in Indonesia.
The central bank’s plan to require a minimum down-payment of 30 percent for car loans will have little affect on Indonesia’s wealthy auto shoppers.
“Around 75 percent of premium cars are purchased using cash. Japan’s production has recovered and the rich will still spend because they have money,” Johnny said at the “Lexus 5 years” celebration in Indonesia on Wednesday.
The car maker entered the Indonesian market in 2007 and sold only 40 cars. Four years later, Lexus Indonesia moved 462 units.
“It could have been 500 units if there had not been an earthquake in Japan,” Johnny said.
Indonesia’s luxury car market was about 3,000 sales a year, he said.
Although sales were up 15 percent last year, Lexus is still behind BMW and Mercedes in sales, Johnny said.
Toyota and lexus is committed to capturing growth markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Kazuo Ohara, deputy chief officer Lexus Group for Toyota Motor Corp said. Lexus recently opened an office in Singapore.
“We are confident about growth in Indonesia. The
auto industry in Indonesia is growing at a rapid pace. The
premium market is not big here, but it keeps growing. Our sales here
grow at a rate of 25 percent annually,” Ohara said.
The hybrid RX 450H SUV will retail for Rp 1.4 billion. The RX 350 F-Sport costs a little less at Rp 1.17 billion.
The hybrid engine CT 200h hatchback will cost between Rp 700 million to Rp 800 million.
The 3,000 cc coupe convertible is equipped with six speed sequential
automatic transmission and a paddle shift. The price tag is Rp 1
The convertible IS 300C sedan will cost buyers Rp 1 billion.