Subaru goes big in Jakarta

Raymond Lai
3 Oct 2012

Subaru shows off its new wares, including the first ASEAN built XV at the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) currently being held at the Jakarta International Expo.

Let the show begin!!!

On the first day of the IIMS, the parent company of Motor Image, Subaru authorised distributor in Singapore, Tan Chong Group unveiled the first ‘locally’ assembled Subaru model in partnership with Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries, the cornerstone of a series of initiatives designed to significantly expand the Group’s presence in Southeast Asia markets.

 The Subaru XV will commence production at Tan Chong’s existing assembly facility in Malaysia in December 2012. The agreement, signed on 6 March 2012, leverages Tan Chong's existing assembly facilities for the production of 5,000 units of the Subaru XV – which blends exceptional SUV practicality with a fashionable form, for distribution in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. The Malaysia assembly initiative is part of Motor Image Group's growth strategy which identifies ASEAN as a key engine of the company’s future growth.

We managed to bag a short spin in the ASEAN-made XV on the eve of the motor show. The car we drove might have been a pre-production example but it drove and felt every bit similar to the Japanese-built XV that the Singapore market gets. It felt robust inside out while the interior felt every bit as solidly built as the Japanese made mode despite featuring 40 percent of local content to qualify for ASEAN’s tax breaks. As for the likelihood of the ASEAN-built model being sold in Singapore, Subaru said that it will depend on the COE conditions in the market.

Subaru today enjoys strong demand for its ‘All Wheel Drive’ vehicles, throughout the region, particularly in the Asian markets with over 13,000 units sold in 2011.  Motor Image expects to increase revenues in the three markets by more than 10 fold within the first year of introducing the locally assembled XV model.

Driving expansion of its sales and distribution network in the region is also key to the Group’s growth strategy. Over the past year its sales network has expanded to 36 in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand and a further 44 outlets are planned through 2013.

Currently, the company has a network of 200 sales and distribution outlets across 10 markets in Asia. Mr. Glenn Tan, Executive Director of TCIL says, “The unveiling of the Subaru XV is an important milestone in enhancing our growth in the ASEAN region.”

"The partnership with Fuji heavy Industries has provided us with the ability to rapidly scale up on Motor Image's presence in the region through making investments in our network and building long-term relationships based on the superior quality of the Subaru brand and a consistently high level of service to customers,” he added.

The Group’s growth strategy is reflected in a rapid scaling of the Motor Image presence: The opening of another 11 sales and distribution outlets in Indonesia from five to 16, with 17 more planned through 2013; The establishment of nine sales and distribution outlets in Thailand with 15 more planned through 2013; By the end of 2013, another 12 more sales and distribution outlets in Malaysia will be added to the current 11 outlets.

 Other Subaru highlights at the IIMS included the debut of the BRZ sports coupe and the new generation Impreza for the Indonesian market.

We also managed to speak to some Japanese executives from Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), giving us the opportunity to find out more of any possibility of Subaru returning to participate in the World Rally Championship (WRC) – it is after all, a brand that was synonymous with the WRC in the 1990s and early 2000s. Their answer “We don’t have any plans to go back to the WRC at the moment but we will be looking into it.” 




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