Indonesia’s Increasing Vehicle Sales Pose Challenge to Road Infrastructure

Traffic jams seem to be synonymous with DKI Jakarta, especially during rush hours. (photo: Adam Dwi - mediaindonesia)

The number of two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles in Indonesia has been increasing every year, driven by the growing interest of the public to buy private vehicles following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this increase in the number of vehicles is not balanced by adequate road infrastructure.

Airlangga Hartarto, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, stated that the number of four-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles in Indonesia has been increasing from year to year. He also pointed out that the growth of the domestic automotive industry has not been accompanied by adequate road infrastructure. According to the data, there were 1,048,000 new car units sold in Indonesia in 2022, while motorcycle sales reached 5.2 million units.

Airlangga stated during the opening of Gaikindo Jakarta Auto Week (GJAW) 2023 at JCC, Senayan, Jakarta on Friday (10/3), “That’s why road infrastructure has not been able to keep up with the growth of the automotive industry, both two-wheel and four-wheel.”

Airlangga also highlighted that the sales of cars in Indonesia have increased significantly following the COVID-19 pandemic. Referring to Gaikindo’s data, domestic car sales last year reached 1,048,000 units or an 18.14% increase compared to 2021.

The positive trend in the four-wheeled industry also continued at the beginning of this year. According to Gaikindo’s data, new car sales in January were around 94,000 units or grew by approximately 11.93% compared to the same period last year, which was 84,149 units.

The two-wheeled industry also experienced a positive trend. Airlangga stated that cumulative motorcycle sales throughout last year reached 5.22 million units.

Previously, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) also highlighted the traffic jams in big cities caused by the high number of vehicle sales in Indonesia. “As a result, there are traffic jams everywhere. Jakarta is jammed, Surabaya is jammed, Bandung is jammed, Medan is jammed, because sales have reached that level,” said Jokowi some time ago.

Jokowi thanked the automotive industry for its performance so far and said that it has a bright future. However, he urged industry players to focus on exports to address the traffic jam effects caused by the continuously growing vehicle sales.

On that occasion, Jokowi emphasized that he was very happy that in 2022, the number of cars sold would reach 1.041 million, an increase of 18 percent. Motorcycle sales also reached 5.2 million motorcycle units. this figure shows that automotive production has grown tremendously.

Jokowi stated that this increase was indeed good from an economic perspective, but it also caused new problems, namely traffic jams.

Therefore, Jokowi encouraged the automotive industries to enter export markets. This transition, in addition to increasing the sale value, can also increase the country’s foreign exchange.