National Car Program Yet to be Inaugurated

Rabu, 11 Januari 2012 | 08:58

The government is not in a rush to develop a national car policy. According to Industry Minister Mohamad Suleman Hidayat, the government does not want to make the same mistake as the Timor national car program during President Soeharto’s era. “It’s still being processed. There aren’t any policies yet,” he said yesterday.Hidayat said the policy would require a large investment to develop national cars on an industrial scale. Additionally, he said, there must be a guarantee for production process continuation, quality controls and infrastructure networks for after sales service and component availability. “Including Esemka, as an innovative creative, I really appreciate it. But if we talk about industrial scale, it’s another story,” he said.

So far, he said, the government had not selected a specific producer. Besides Esemka, the Tawon, Komodo and Arina were also nominated as national car candidates. Hidayat said he would encourage the industry to compete in the national automotive market.

For instance, he said he would urge PT Industri Kereta Api (Inka), the producer of Gea and Tawon cars, to produce a small-engine vehicles for rural areas.

While it has not been approved by the government, production of the Tawon continues to expand. “We will open a showroom soon in Serang, Banten,” said Devi Arya Putri, PT Super Gasindo Jaya’s manager.

Tawon cars include gas-fueled city cars and transformer pick-ups and are produced in Banten. Private and government companies have ordered 200 Tawon vehicles from Surabaya. ARIF ARIANTO | WASI’UL ULUM