Indonesian-Made Car Stirs National Pride
Prototype cars made by Indonesian engineering students have triggered a frenzy of interest from fellow countrymen who want to buy them, the project’s supervisor has said.
Ten examples of the Kiat Esemka car have been built at the Kiat Motor workshop in the Central Java city of Solo, said its owner, Sukiyat.
The first model was produced in 2009, but the cars recently caused a stir after media reports that Solo mayor Joko Widodo had bought one for office use.
Soon afterwards other officials began expressing interest in the vehicles, which come in four-seater and eight-seater versions, and the cars drew praise from Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“Tens of thousands of people – more than 20,000 I think – have come or called to express interest in the car,” Sukiyat, 54, said.
But he added: “Currently, it takes two to three months to produce one car. These vehicles were produced as a training medium for vocational high school students, and are not ready for mass production yet.”
He and a partner company have applied for a production licence, he said.
Eighty percent of the vehicles’ components are made in Indonesia and under mass production it would cost between Rp75 million (US$8,200) and Rp95 million, Sukiyat said.
Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest and fastest-growing economy but does not have a domestic car company, though many Japanese models are assembled in the country.Filed under: The Nation