Toyota ( TM , quote ) sells 37.8% share of Indonesia cars and is now looking to turn the country into an export hub . PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia, the automaker's subsidiary in the archipelago, has announced that its exports have nearly doubled during the first half of 2012, riding high on strong demand from the Middle East.
From January to June, Saudi Arabia imported 13,776 Indonesia cars, a jump of 79.7% that represented 46.46% of PT Toyota exports. Saudi Arabia was followed by the United Arab Emirates, which imported 2,313 units from Indonesia, and Oman, which purchased 965 vehicles.
Larger vehicles including the Fortuner sports utility vehicle and the Innova multipurpose vehicle, were top sellers. Those models, which made up 60% of Indonesia cars for export, are particularly popular in a region with cheap fuel.
Toyota officials said that the automaker looks set to double exports from Indonesia to 60,000 this year.
"This fact proves that the impact of [the economic] crisis has not impeded demand for our cars in
our export destinations ," PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia external affairs chief Irwan Priyantoko told reporters in Jakarta.
To satisfy growing domestic and export demand, Toyota is investing $525.4 million to build a second plant in Karawang, West Java. Initially designed to produce 70,000 vehicles annually, Toyota boosted investment to increase production to 120,000 units starting in 2014.
This year, Japanese automakers have been celebrating record Indonesia car sales as they seek to satisfy voracious local demand that appears to be expanding unabated despite new auto loan rules.
Last month, the Indonesian government began requiring car buyers to make down payments of 25% to 30% on auto loans, up from as little as 5% previously.
Honda, Nissan, Suzuki and Daihatsu reported record sales during the first half of 2012.
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