Indonesia becomes base for relaunches

16 May 2014
JAKARTA: Indonesia is poised to become the launch pad for new, low-cost, products from global brands Nissan, the Japanese automaker, and BlackBerry, the struggling Canadian smartphone vendor.

Both companies are seeking to capitalise on the country's buoyant consumer confidence, its huge population of 250m people, and its concentration of wealthier consumers who live within reachable distances, the Financial Times reported.

Nissan launched an economy Datsun last week and is selling the marque – one it hasn't used since phasing it out almost 30 years ago – for Rp85m ($7,400).

Although Toyota continues to dominate, smaller Japanese automakers like Nissan and Honda are beginning to improve their position in an Indonesian market that has seen 20% annual growth over the past three years.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry is hoping its ebbing market share will strengthen on the back of its Z3 handset, which it will launch in Jakarta this week accompanied by a marketing campaign.

BlackBerry held more than half the Indonesian smartphone market at the beginning of 2012, but this declined to just 13% by the end of 2013, according to research firm IDC which believes the Z3 device will be the company's "final stand" in the country.

Indonesia could prove to be an encouraging choice to test an emerging market strategy because a recent survey from Nielsen found Indonesians to have the highest levels of consumer confidence in the world.

The market research company predicted that Indonesia's "consuming class", or those people who buy non-essential items, will grow from 45m to 145m by 2030.

In addition, consultancy McKinsey published an in-depth study in January that identified 70m Indonesians as a "consuming class", who are optimistic about their future and increasingly sophisticated about their spending choices.

"The march of the consumer in Indonesia is almost relentless," agreed Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, an analyst at Standard Chartered.

"There are not many emerging markets that have the same opportunities as Indonesia, where you can roll out new products easily," he said.

Data sourced from Financial Times, International Business Times; additional content by Warc staff
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