Indonesia is a Huge Market of Japanese Cars! An Insight of Indonesian Cars Preferences

Cars are undoubtedly one of the most used transportation alternatives chosen by Indonesian. But what kind of cars are preferred by most Indonesian? Why do they prefer those cars? We may find out the answers based on a survey done by Licorice.

PERIOD: 2019/2/22 〜 2019/8/22
RESPONDENTS: 500 Indonesians

Most Indonesians residents use their cars daily. A total of 40.6% of respondents stated that they use the car every day. About 22.4% of respondents use the car not less than four times in a week. This means, more than 60% of Indonesian use cars almost every day. But What kind of car exactly needed by Indonesians?

To understand Indonesian preference for cars, let us take a look at the purpose of most Indonesians use cars.

Q. Where do you usually drive your car? (SA)

It turned out that most of Indonesians use their cars for daily activities. Most respondents use their cars for regular activities, seizing 28.59% for work, and 20.44% for going to school and 11.4% for going shopping. About 34% of respondents also use their cars for recreational use, such as traveling, picnic or just driving around. It means Indonesian use their cars for daily life as well as recreational use.

To support both daily activities and recreational, what kind of Indonesian preferred cars? Let’s see the survey result below:

Q. What car (brand) do you have? (SA)

For those daily needs, Japanese manufactured cars top the car selling chart in Indonesia. Based on the survey, about 69% of Indonesian car owners stated that they have Japanese cars. Six Japanese manufacturers even topped six most owned cars by Indonesian. They are Honda, Toyota, Daihatsu, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki. Honda is the most-owned car by Indonesian with 25.8%, followed by Toyota, and Daihatsu. In the middle of the Japanese top six manufacturers, there was BMW was chipped in above Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki.

The survey result is not that surprising. Most Indonesian own Honda because the manufacturer had entered the Indonesian market since 1960. Honda started selling its cars from 1963, then immediately surpassing European cars.

Japanese manufacturers are still dominating by now. Its superiority is still difficult to surpass by manufacturers from other countries, such as China, Korea, and Europe. This condition is due to Japanese manufacturers who have already dominated the Indonesian automotive market for decades. It’s different from other manufacturers from Korea or China who just entered the Indonesian market starting in the late 90s or 2000s.

Last year sales

Speaking about care sales, let’s see the latest sales data from The Indonesian Automotive Industries Association or Gabungan Industri Kendaraan Bermotor Indonesia (Gaikindo). Gaikindo recorded wholesale sales (sales from factories to dealers) of cars in 2019 totaling 1,030,126 units. The 10 top-selling cars in 2019 are all Japanese manufactured cars, as below:

  1. Toyota Avanza: 86.374 units,
  2. Honda Brio: 70.344 units,
  3. Mitsubishi Xpander: 62.666 units,
  4. Toyota Rush: 61.569 units,
  5. Toyota Calya: 54.549 units,
  6. Toyota Kijang Innova: 52.981 units,
  7. Suzuki Carry Pick-up: 52.694 units,
  8. Daihatsu Sigra: 52.283 units,
  9. Daihatsu Gran Max Pick-up: 35.926 units, and
  10. Mitsubishi L-300: 28.429 units.

Seven from ten of the top selling-cars above are multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) and city cars. This fact depict Indonesian needs in cars for daily life as well as recreational use. The survey result also supports this sale  data as shown below:

Q. What kind of car do you own? (SA)


As shown by the graph, the highest 30% of respondents own city cars which mostly manufactured by Japanese, and followed by 25% who own sports cars which manufactured not only by European but also by Japanese manufacturers. Other most owned cars by Indonesian are SUV with 13.8% and Mini Van with 12% which are also dominated by Japanese production in Indonesia.

To understand more, let us take a look deeper at the car’s most considered aspects by Indonesians.

Q9. What aspects do you consider the most when buying a car? (MA)

There were five most considered aspects which preferred by respondents. The top three are car’s design (16.49%), fuel-saving (14.08%), and its convenience to ride (12.1%). Other than those, Security and pricing are also considered important aspects by Indonesian.

Still based on the same survey, there are almost 75% of respondents have their car for 5 years or less, with the highest percentage of 18.8% have cars for three years. Only 25% of respondents already have their cars for more than 5 years. Thus, it can be said that most Indonesian car lifespans stand for five years.

Indonesian prefer buying their car from an official car dealer or distributor Despite technological enhancement, very little Indonesian bought their car from the internet. They also stated prefer buying a car using cash rather than credit card or other loan methods.

The Verdict

It is now understandable why most Indonesian prefer Japanese cars. To cope with Indonesian daily needs, Japanese cars are proved affordable by price and versatile by the functions. By now, there are no other car manufacturers other than Japanese that able to reach selling levels of Japanese cars. Based on the presented facts, It is clear that Indonesia will still become a huge market for Japanese manufactured cars.


The detailed report which this article referred to is available.
[Table of contents]

  • Indonesian intensity of driving cars
  • Where Indonesian usually drive their cars
  • Most owned car brands in Indonesia
  • Kind of cars Indonesian mostly have
  • Indonesian car color preferences
  • How long Indonesian had owned cars
  • Where Indonesian buy their cars
  • Indonesian preferred payments when buying cars
  • Most considered aspects by Indonesian when buying cars
  • Summary


Check description of this report

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