Isuzu Indonesia begins exporting Traga pickup trucks to Philippines
JAKARTA, NNA – PT Isuzu Astra Motor Indonesia, part of the Japanese automaker Isuzu, is revving up its factory in the Southeast Asian country to export vehicles to as many as 20 countries after a breakthrough in shipments to the Philippines.
The automaker began initial exports of Traga trucks to the Philippines on Thursday as both places fall under the same smog-control standards, Vice President Director Keiji Takeda said.
The company has attracted the attention of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who says it will ship 120 vehicles in its first batch on its way to 6,000 units by the end of 2020. The vehicles will have a total of 80 billion rupiah ($5.72 million), Takeda told a news conference.
Isuzu Astra Motor Indonesia picked Philippines because its market is like that of Indonesia, meaning strong demand for commercial vehicles, the vice president said at a ceremony in Karawang Regency, West Java Province on Thursday.
This year the Indonesian government began using a Euro 4 emissions standard, matching that of the Philippines since 2017. The company ultimately changed certain truck specifications for the Philippine market. “That's why we can export it now," Takeda said.
The Indonesia-based Isuzu Karawang Plant’s 30 hectares has regular production capacity of 52,000 vehicles per year and can reach as high as 80,000 per year. That means Isuzu stands to export more than the Traga and send vehicles to 20 countries in three years, Takeda said.
"We also have plans to export Isuzu Elf (large-sized truck) and Giga (light truck), but all are still being studied and discussed according to the needs of each country," he told NNA.
Isuzu will export before long to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, he said.
Widodo told an inauguration ceremony that he expected the plant to ship to Africa and the Middle East as well as around Asia. He attended the ceremony as a show of government support for Isuzu’s work in Indonesia.
“This is what is expected by the government,” the president said. “If our exports are increased, we hope it will reduce our current account deficit and put our trade balance in a surplus.”
Widodo spoke to told reporters at an Isuzu Astra Motor Indonesia assembly plant in East Karawang on Thursday.
Indonesia's automotive exports total 300,000 units per year with a value of $8 billion, Widodo said. By 2024, he said, Indonesia hopes to export at least 1 million vehicles with an export value of $24 billion.
The Isuzu Traga’s market share in Indonesia was 16.9 percent as of October and stands to reach 17.5 percent by year’s end, the firm’s local President Director Ernando Demily said.