Toyota Motor to Invest $337 Million to Expand Indonesian Operations
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. said it will invest 2.9 trillion rupiah ($337 million) in Indonesia, building a new factory and rolling out a new model, in its second move this year to expand in the fast-growing car market.
Toyota joins a long list of automakers that have announced plans this year to invest or expand to tap surging demand in the world's fourth-most populous country, including General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co. The factory will produce a new model along with the Kijang Innova minivan, taking Toyota's total capacity in Indonesia to 180,000 units by early 2013, the world's biggest automaker said on Tuesday.
Toyota executives were tight-lipped about what the new vehicle would look like, but said a compact ''city car'' was among the options.
''We also need low-cost cars like a small city car or hatchback,'' said Johnny Darmawan Danusasmita, president of Toyota-Astra Motor, the local joint venture.
The new factory, Toyota's second in Indonesia, will be built next to the existing Karawang plant in North Jakarta.
Indonesia's car market grew by a staggering 58 percent last year to a record 765,000 vehicles and is widely expected to top 1 million in the next few years.
While such growth is impressive, fuelled by an economy seen expanding by 6.6 percent this year, Indonesia's auto sales are still some way short of other Asian emerging markets giants.
China is now the world's biggest auto market, with 13.8 million vehicles sold last year, while India sales rose 30 percent to a record 1.98 million.
Toyota made the announcement at a news conference, attended by President Akio Toyoda, to celebrate its 40th anniversary in Indonesia. …