After Ford Motor Indonesia, the local unit of American car manufacturer Ford Motor Company, exited Indonesia earlier this year as the company found it too difficult to compete with Japanese counterparts on the Indonesian market, Ford found a new way to make sure its components and after sales services can be delivered in Southeast Asia's largest economy.
Mitra Bisnis, part of the RMA Group, became the official distributor for Ford services and genuine parts in Indonesia in mid-2016. However, Yanto Mardianto, Marketing and Sales Manager at Mitra Bisnis, now says his company in fact plans to sell Ford vehicles in Indonesia starting from the first half of 2018. Currently, Mitra Bisnis is in talks with the Ford Motor Company (as well as tackling administrative issues) to start selling Ford vehicles on the Indonesian market again.
Read more: Analysis of Indonesia Automotive Market
In these negotiations it is particularly important for Mitra Bisnis to prove Ford that it can deliver the after sales services. Although Mardianto could not specify which Ford vehicles would be sold on the Indonesian market from H1-2018, he said Mitra Bisnis targets to sell Ford's Ranger, Ecosport and Fiesta.
Presently, there are about 80,000 Ford vehicles in Indonesia, mostly in the Greater Jakarta Area. There are also still 33 Ford dealers in Indonesia (29 of which formerly fell under Ford Motor Indonesia and were placed under Mitra Bisnis in mid-2016).
Indonesia is the largest car market in Southeast Asia with its 260 million-population. Considering the nation's per capita car ownership remains relatively low, while per capita GDP is growing, Indonesia is a very attractive market for any car manufacturer.
However, the main disadvantage for American and European car manufacturers is that Indonesia's car market is dominated by Japanese automakers. For example, in 2015 a total of 1,013,291 cars were sold on the Indonesian market. However, 928,317 vehicles were Japanese branded cars (with especially Toyota dominating sales in Indonesia), leaving very little for non-Japanese brands such as Ford. In recent years Ford sales declined rapidly.
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