Indonesia auto sales slump 83% in 1998

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JAKARTA--Car sales in crisis-ridden Indonesia nosedived 83% in 1998, with a mere 68,413 vehicles sold for the year. The Indonesian Automotive Industry Association says 46,398 of the total were commercial vehicles and the rest passenger vehicles. In 1997, some 392,203 vehicles left showrooms.

For passenger vehicles, the Timor, the country's so-called national car, ranked first with sales of 2,473. A joint project of Korea's KIA and Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra, the youngest son of former President Soeharto, the roundly criticized Timor project is now disbanded. The sweeping privileges and tax breaks afforded Timor in the past have made it an unwanted property in reform-minded Indonesia.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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