Car sales rally downwards in the first quarter of 2020 as demand weakened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data from the Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) shows that the domestic car wholesales in March decreased further by 3.5% compared to figures in February and a 15% drop year-on-year(YoY). There were 76,800 cars sold throughout March compared to 79,601 cars sold in February.
The domestic retail sales even showed a 22% drop in a month. In February, the dealers were able to sell 77,847 cars to retail buyers, yet they were only able to sell 60,447 vehicles in March. The sales fell 33.6% YoY.
Gaikindo chairman Yohannes Nangoi says the downturn is already predicted. The association even expects the automotive market performance to shrink up to 40% this year with the assumption that the pandemic will ease in the second half of 2020. With the premise, the industry sets a target to sell a total of 600,000 this year. Last year, Gaikindo data showed that the car wholesales are 1,030,126, while the retail sales are 1,043,017.
As the sales plunge and to comply with the government social distancing policy (PSBB), car manufacturers have announced to hold productions. This week, PT Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Indonesia, local producers of Japanese Mitsubishi cars, will halt all activities in its factory in Cikarang, West Java. The factory has an annual production capacity of 220,000 cars. Previously, PT Astra International had stopped its Toyota and Daihatsu cars production. Besides temporarily closing the factory, the company also stops all operational services such as showrooms and workshops in all cities that enact the PSBB policy.
However, despite the situation, BMW Group Indonesia launched a new car to the market recently. The BMW Seri-3 Touring Station Wagon was launched online available to purchase in ecommerce platform Tokopedia.