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BMW to Introduce Mini Cooper in Indonesia to Tap Car Demand

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s Indonesian unit will introduce three Mini Cooper models starting next week to meet growing demand for cars in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

“Indonesia’s economy is growing definitely, so we think it is really the right time for the Mini brand to enter the market,” President Director Ramesh Divyanathan said in a July 12 interview in Jakarta.

BMW, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, plans to debut the Mini Cooper S, Mini Cooper S Convertible and Mini John Cooper Works at the Indonesia International Motor Show in Jakarta, which runs from July 22 to July 31. The PT BMW Indonesia unit is spending about 100 billion rupiah ($11.7 million) over the next two years to upgrade factories to produce new models, increase output and introduce the Mini Cooper.

The Munich-based automaker’s Indonesian unit boosted luxury-car market share about 8 percent to 28 percent for the first four months of 2011, according to a May 31 statement.

Prices for the Mini Coopers being introduced range from 500 million rupiah to 700 million rupiah ($58,609 to $82,053), said Joe Surya, a president director at PT Maxindo International Nusantara Indah, a Mini distributor.

Given Indonesia’s population of 238 million people, the country could become one of the largest regional markets for the Mini Cooper, Divyanathan said in the interview, which took place after an event held to announce the introduction of the three models. Distributor PT Maxindo has so far received about 20 pre-orders for the cars, Surya said.

Global Sales Surge

Global Mini Cooper sales surged about 30 percent to 141,913 units in the first half of 2011 from a year earlier, BMW said in a statement on July 7. Last year, Mini sold 222 cars in Malaysia, 407 in Thailand, 145 in the Philippines and 275 in Singapore, according to BMW Indonesia’s data. Maxindo is working with BMW to determine the potential size of the market in Indonesia, Surya said.

Indonesian auto sales rose 12 percent to 415,276 units in the first six months of 2011 from a year earlier, Marketing Director PT Toyota-Astra Motor Joko Trisanyoto said on July 4.

Gross domestic product may expand 6.3 percent to 6.8 percent this year, after growing 6.1 percent in 2010, Bank Indonesia estimates. Consumer-price increases, which eased to a 12-month low of 5.54 percent in June, may reach 4 percent to 6 percent in 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Femi Adi in Jakarta at fadi1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kae Inoue at kinoue@bloomberg.net

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