Indonesians love the multipurpose vehicle (MPV), known as "people carriers", as these vehicles are bigger and taller than the family car. Indonesians enjoy taking trips with the family (and/or invite some friends) and therefore a big car is required. The MPV can carry up to seven passengers and thus meets this request. Car manufacturers are aware of high MPV demand and therefore continue to launch new (and better) models. With functionality in check, manufacturers now particularly focus on improving the design of the MPV to entice Indonesian consumers.
Indonesian consumers now not only want a vehicle that can carry many passengers, they also want their car to be stylish, to become a proud asset of their modern (stylish) lifestyles. This especially applies to those Indonesians living in the urban areas. As such, it is important for MPV manufacturers to be innovative in terms of design as the low sport utility vehicle (LSUV) has gained popularity in Southeast Asia's largest economy. However, it will be very difficult for the LSUV to become the market leader as they have limited space for passengers.
One of the largest companies in Indonesia's automotive industry is Toyota Astra Motor (TAM), subsidiary of Astra International and the clear market leader in Indonesia in terms of car sales with its Toyota Avanza and Kijang Innova (and Astra Toyota Agya in the low cost green car segment). The company has just launched its All New Sienta, a MPV vehicle that is considered to combine the required functionality (seven passengers) and stylish design that is looked for by Indonesian consumers.
TAM's Chief Engineer Hiroshi Kayukawa informed that car manufacturers have to monitor consumers changing lifestyles and trends and therefore come up with new vehicles that suit these new lifestyles. Currently, Indonesian consumers want a fresh and well designed car, he added.
Top Three Car Brands in Indonesia
Toyota; this is the traditional market leader - by distance - in Indonesia (both in terms of domestic sales and exports). Last year (2015) was a difficult one for TAM as it lost about 8 percent in market share. With the launch of the Toyota Kijang Innova this year (which has become one of the highest selling cars in 2016) and improving purchasing power amid accelerating macroeconomic growth and low inflation the company is expanding its market share again in 2016. Toyota also dominates the low cost green car (LCGC) segment.
Honda; this brand has become a strong competitor in Indonesia, particularly in 2016 with the Mobilio and Jazz models (both are MPVs) as well as the Honda Brio Satya in the LCGC category. In the SUV segment its BR-V and HR-V have become the vehicle of consumers' choice.
Daihatsu; this model is also distributed by TAM on the Indonesian market and it specifically targets the low cost car market in Indonesia. Its LCGC - Daihatsu Ayla - currently accounts for about 22 percent of Indonesia's LCGC sales.