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Daihatsu shows how restrictions hit national auto sales badly

Jakarta Globe - September 12, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Japanese automaker Daihatsu described in a simple chart how the two-month social restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak have sent national car sales into a free fall, as Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced a plan to re-impose restrictions starting on Monday.

Daihatsu, who controls around 18 percent of the Indonesian automotive market share, demanded that the governor immediately put into details the upcoming restrictions – whether it will be at the level of the April-May period or, as the governor has indicated, even stricter.

Hendrayadi Lastiyoso, Marketing Division Head of Astra International Daihatsu in Jakarta, said on Friday the company has been waiting for a formal regulation since Anies made the announcement on Wednesday before any decision can be made.

"Besides, there have been dissenting opinions from others, including the Trade Ministry," Hendrayadi said in a virtual news briefing, in reference to opposition from industry associations and a number of central government officials to the planned social restrictions in the capital.

When the capital for the first time imposed the so-called large-scale social restrictions, or PSBB, on April 10, dealerships weren't allowed to open except for repair services, Hendrayadi recalled.

The measures hurt the industry as monthly sales dropped to the lowest point in more than a decade.

Retail sales of all brands plummeted by nearly 60 percent in April while the wholesale figure crashed by almost 90 percent from the previous month.

Situation worsened in May, when overall sales stood at a mere 20,700 units in comparison to the 137,300 units sold in March alone.

As for Daihatsu, sales in the eight-month period ending August dropped by 49.8 percent for wholesale and 42.6 percent for retail compared to the same period last year.

When Jakarta and its satellite cities relaxed the restrictions in June, sales began to pick up the pace. The upward trend continued until August.

Now with the Jakarta governor announcing reimposition of the PSBB, anxiety returns to the Japanese compact car producer.

"We certainly support policies from the central and provincial governments. Mr. Anies said a strict PSBB will come into effect on Monday and we want to know how strict it will be," Daihatsu Indonesia Corporate Planning Director Amelia Tjandra said.

She said the company has reduced the number of office attendance by 50 percent and even introduced a smartphone application that would emit noise when employees were too close to each other.

"If that's not enough, what else should we do? We really want to know the new regulation," Amelia said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/daihatsu-shows-how-restrictions-hit-national-auto-sales-badly