TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Chinese automaker Sokon is planning to build a factory in Indonesia. The US$150 million project (Rp2 billion) is scheduled to start in November. Through PT Sokonindo Automobile, Sokon will collaborate with Dong Feng Motor of China and Emperor Motor from Indonesia to assemble minivans.
Sokon's factory will be located in Tangerang, Banten, in an area that was once Sanex's motorcycle assembly.
Sokonindo Automobile commissioner Alexander Barus said the factory will produce 50,000 cars per year. For the first five year, the factory will only serve as an assembly, after which it will become Sokon's production base for the Southeast Asian region.
Alex said that a number of machines have arrived at the Tanjung Priok Port whilst the factory's main engine is still in China.
In China, Sokon makes 400,000 cars per year under the Sokon GSF brand. For the Indonesian market, Alex said, Sokon will produce Sokon GSF Rajawali and Sokon GSF Luwi, powered by 1,300 cc and 1,500 cc diesel engines, respectively.
Other Chinese car manufacturers planning to build a car assembly in Indonesia are SAIC Motor Corp. and Wuling Motors. SAIC and Wuling will collaborate with General Motors, establishing a joint venture called SAIC-GM-Wuling. Their factory, a project estimated to worth US$700 million (Rp 9.4 trillion), is scheduled to start producing 150,000 units of Wuling cars per year starting in 2017.
AMIRULLAH | KHAIRUL ANAM