Nissan's New Plan in Jakarta

The third-largest carmaker in Japan, Nissan Motor, introduced the latest version of its Grand Livina multipurpose vehicle (MPV) in Jakarta last week, further adding to the already tight competition in Indonesia's MPV market.

The new car, which is assembled by Nissan's local subsidiary, Nissan Motor Indonesia (NMI), is designed for the local market.

"MPVs are the most suitable vehicles for the Indonesian market," said Gunadi Sindhuwinata, president director of Indomobil, a licensed Nissan agent.

"City cars are not so attractive due to their limited capacity, while sedans are vulnerable to floods. Therefore, we came up with an MPV that offers extra capacity and retains the prestige of a sedan, while still being able to go through the floods," he said during a ceremony to mark the launch of the seven-seat Grand Livina.

Nissan also plans to start exporting the new MPV, which is assembled at NMI's plant east of Jakarta, in the near future.

"Nissan plans to export Grand Livinas to other Asean countries, like Malaysia and Thailand, as soon as possible," Gunad said.

Meanwhile, Nissan chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga said at the ceremony that Indonesia was the company's second-biggest MPV market after China.

The Grand Livina, which comes in both manual and automatic models with 1,500cc and 1,800cc engines, sells for 138.5 million to 203.5 million rupiah (Bt530,00 to Bt778,000).

Shiga said he was optimistic Grand Livina sales would reach 12,000 units this year, or almost 60 per cent of Nissan's estimated total sales of 21,000 units.

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