After years in waiting, an Indonesian locally produced car with Esemka brand finally was launched today. President Joko Widodo inaugurated the launch at the assembly plant located in Boyolali Regency, Central Java Province. Jokowi was pleased to see the fact that a significant portion of Esemka car components are produced domestically, although the portion has yet to reach 80 percent.
The feature: Esemka is produced by PT Solo Manufacturing Kreasi, an Indonesian company with 100 percent shares owned by the private. Esemka manufacturing facility is located on a 115,000 square meters land with building area of 12,500 square meters. The factory is equipped with showroom and manufacturing facility for assembling the car’s engine, body works, and car painting, as well as for engine testing and final product inspections. Esemka manufacturing is expected to provide multiplier effect along the supply chains, started from producers and suppliers of components and spare parts in upstream automotive industries. Local content of Esemka has reached 60 percent, which means that 40 percent of the car components is still imported. An acceptable percentage for a newly manufacturing,
The first models of Esemka launched today are Bima 1.2 and Bima 1.3. Both of them are pick up cars to be sold at competitive price of below Rp150 million. Aside from the engine specifications, 1200 cc and 1,300 cc respectively, the difference between Bima 1.2 and 1.3 is on the capacity of cargo. The 1.3 model have a larger dimension of cargo space. Both models use the same type of gasoline engine, which is facilitate easier maintenance compared with diesel-fuel engine. To date, Esemka has received four Notifications of Type Registration issued by the ministry of industry for six types of four-wheels motor vehicle. Four of them are commercial single cabin pick ups named Bima-Esemka, one double cabin named Digdaya-Esemka, and one minivan called Borneo-Esemka. In the first year, the producer will manufacture 3,500 units of Bima Esemka with total production capacity of 12,000 units per year.
As a new entrant, the company aware that Esemka need to offer significant differences to attract consumers. Lower price is considered as one of the competitive advantages that can be offered by Esemka. For the time being, market penetration is focused in Java area in order to facilitate better management and supervision of aftersales services. There is also possibility to penetrate the outer Java markets in the near future.
Another angle: As an effort to manufacture the Indonesian car brand, the launch of Esemka should be appreciated. However, speculation is wide spreading on the similarity of Esemka pick ups with the same model under different brand produced in China. Amidst such a speculation, the producers of Esemka should work hard to convince the target market about the reliability and after sales services of Bima 1.2 and Bima 1.3.