Car enthusiasts in the capital and beyond can get their fix at the 20th Indonesia International Motor Show later this month.
The international auto expo in Jakarta, which attained its international status in 2006, this year aims to take the show to a new level of quality and sophistication.
This year’s theme, “Eco-mobility,” aims to promote the mobility, accessibility and fuel efficiency of environmentally-friendly cars, focusing on the advantages of these vehicles in Indonesia’s big cities. Visitors can expect to see car companies showcasing their latest technologies and products designed with both efficiency and the environment in mind.
The Indonesian government has jumped on the green bandwagon, recently launching a low-cost, low-emissions vehicle initiative, which provides incentives to car companies that develop and produce clean and green cars for popular consumption.
The initiative faces hurdles, with the much-hyped hybrid vehicle technology not widely used by auto producers in Indonesia. But automakers in Indonesia do have other means of incorporating fuel-efficient technologies.
For Indonesia to have low-emission vehicles driven by large numbers of people, the price of these cars will need to be lowered significantly. The main problem in Indonesia is the cost of these vehicles, which is prohibitively high due to taxation and finance options that are relatively short-term and high-interest — a loan of five years comes with a 6 percent interest rate, while in Malaysia consumers can purchase cars with a nine-year loan at an interest rate of 3 percent.
Another problem is Indonesia’s notoriously poor infrastructure. The country is adding increasing numbers of cars to the streets without providing the necessary roads to accommodate those cars. Any Jakarta resident can testify to the debilitating congestion this breeds.
Whether car companies make a push for the development of greener vehicles, it will make little difference if we continue to find ourselves stuck in traffic for hours while making what should be a relatively short commute, say, from Bekasi to Kuningan or Depok to the Sudirman Central Business District.
A low-cost, low-emissions vehicle would provide the average Indonesian with a chance to buy a car rather than a motorcycle, and also save on fuel costs. While heavily subsidized by the state, fuel costs are still a factor, with Indonesian drivers paying almost twice as much as their Malaysian counterparts for a liter of equivalent-octane gasoline.
Around 350,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s IIMS. The event has an exhibition space of about 70,000 square meters, making it one of the largest motor shows in the Asia-Pacific region.
There will be 33 automotive brands at the event, showcasing their latest technologies and products.
Several newcomers will also make appearances, including Tata Motors from India and Chery Indonesia with its revamped dealership and product lineup.
Ideally, the IIMS will go beyond being an exhibition to sell cars. The show could be a place where visitors can be educated on what the automotive industry is doing to enhance sustainability.
A well-executed show would include information on environmentally responsible driving, while providing visitors a good time. It would also curb the activities of pushy salespeople who might otherwise harass attendees in their attempts to sell their products. It can be done; similar international auto exhibitions the world over are evidence of that.
If you’re in the market to buy a new car or are just interested in a day out with the family, the IIMS is for you.
The event will run from Sept. 20 to 30 at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.