Complete Luxury
    Category: Luxury & Lifestyle By : Yessar Rosendar Read : 3040 Date : Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 07:45:31

    Courtesy of MRA Group

    The Fiat 500 is a memorable car for Soetikno Soedarjo, chief executive of the Mugi Rekso Abadi (MRA) group: it was the first car he drove when he was just 11 years old, getting help from his family's driver and using pillows to see over the dashboard. He still has fond memories of that experience.

    As founder and head of MRA, Soetikno, now 56, has driven plenty of more interesting cars, as MRA is the exclusive distributor of Ferrari and Maserati cars in Indonesia, both brands now under Fiat. Yet the chance to be involved with the Fiat 500 gets special attention from Soetikno. “This is our new baby and I really love this car,” he says.

    Given his passion for performance cars, he is selling the Abarth version of the Fiat 500, a souped up sports model that comes with racing stripes, starting at around Rp 400 million. The car is aimed squarely at the Mini Cooper from the BMW group, given its similar size, shape and performance. “I see there is an opportunity in this segment,” Soetikno says. A new unit of the MRA group, PT Parama Unggul Otomotif, will be in charge of making the Fiat 500 Abarth a success.

    Mini itself sold around 300 units last year, making Indonesia the second largest market for Minis in Southeast Asia. Only 80 Fiat 500 Abarths will be allocated for Indonesia this year, and already 28 have been sold. Soetikno is confident that in terms of sales volume it will do well given its mix of price and performance. “Our customers who buy Ferraris and Maseratis could afford to buy this car, it will be like buying an accessory for them. Everyone wants something sporty but still stylish and fashionable,” Soetikno says.

    MRA's automotive division is one of the engines of growth for the group; its PT Surya Sejahtera Otomotif has been the sole importer of Ferrari since 2001, and now boasts a waiting list that stretches for about two years. Soetikno has made Indonesia the largest market for Ferrari in Southeast Asia. Its other Italian car brand, also from 2001, is Maserati. Through another MRA subsidiary PT Tiara Cahaya Otomotif, Soetikno is also upbeat on growing its sales volume, as there will be several new models from Maserati to broaden its appeal.

    Meanwhile, in motorcycles, MRA's PT Mabua Harley Davidson is on a roll. Sales of Harley Davidson motorcycles should reach 1,000 this year, double last year's. Indonesia is now the second largest market for Harley in Asia, and Harley plans to make Indonesia its regional base for Southeast Asia. Currently it is also building a new headquarters in Pondok Pinang in Jakarta. The 10-story building with a three floor basement will be the biggest office for Harley in Asia.

    For the entire MRA group, Soetikno is building Graha MRA in TB Simatupang, also in South Jakarta. The 17 floor twin tower office will be the new home for Ferrari Indonesia and also will be the largest for Ferrari in Asia. Both buildings will be completed next year. “We want to better manage our brands and grow them faster,” Soetikno says.