General Motors is planning for sales growth in Indonesia and Thailand to capitalize on rising income levels in both markets. In both countries, the automaker is ramping up its manufacturing operations and increasing the amount of dealers selling Chevy vehicles. According to GM Southeast Asia chief Martin Apfel, the automaker is planning to increase its dealer count from 35 to 55 in Indonesia, and from 91 to 120 in Thailand.
Thanks to last decade’s financial crisis and manufacturing strikes, GM halted production at its Indonesian factory in Bekasi city (located west of Java, east of the Jakartan border) in 2005. But the automaker brought the plant back online last year; with a 50,000 annual production capacity, the plant will manufacture the Chevrolet Spin MPV for the local market as well as for other Southeast Asia markets, including Thailand and the Philippines.
Currently, the Indonesian car market is dominated by Japanese auto brands, but GM is planning for a five-fold jump in Chevrolet sales by 2014. Last year, sales of The Bow Tie brand increased 72 percent year-over-year — but the brand still has a very low market share (in the low single digits).
Chevy’s sales tripled in Thailand in 2011 to 59,652 units in the first 10 months of 2012. The locally-produced Colorado mid-sized pickup truck is at the forefront of the sales expansion.
As GM gears up to increase sales in Southeast Asia, it is also looking to increase market share in South America — where its operations have floundered in the last several year. The General is planning for a massive global product offensive in 2013 and 2014 for Chevrolet — the biggest push for the brand in the last ten years.