General Motors has announced plans from one of its Chinese joint-ventures to build an assembly facility in Indonesia, with the manufacturing operations tapping the growth seen in Southeast Asia’s largest auto market.
The No. 1 US automaker has moved to confirm an earlier Reuters report on the matter, saying that its SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW) joint venture (formed with GM China, SAIC Motor Corp Ltd and Wuling Motors) wants to construct a plant in the vicinity of Jakarta to produce and market Wuling branded autos. GM announced in a statement released recently that construction of the assembly facility is envisioned for the year, tough it still needs government approval. It added that while the vehicles are primarily destined towards local use on the Indonesian market, exports are mulled later on to other regional markets.
The US and Chinese automakers have planned to push their affordable Wuling brand to secure a beachhead in Southeast Asia’s biggest market and then tackle other expanding markets in the region. The report stated that a property in an industrial district on the outskirts of Jakarta was already ready to be purchased – as the crucial joint venture wants to push in a market with 240 million people. GM already has another non-China market in Asia, after it jointly tapped India with SAIC, where they cooperate to sell Wuling’s small multi-purpose vans. The low-cost “people mover” microvans, based on the same models already sold in China, would bring to Indonesia cars that in the former country can be had for as low as 30,000 yuan ($4,800).