There's no question that there's an overwhelming demand for the Suzuki Jimny. In fact, the Japanese automaker has been ramping up production of the small SUV, but it's still not enough it seems. So much so that Suzuki has confirmed that they will also be making the Jimny in Indonesia.
With only one plant making the all-new subcompact 4x4, it is, perhaps, logical for them to free up another factory to build them. With that, it should relieve the Kosai plant from churning them out. But why Indonesia?
According to Shuji Oishi, Suzuki's managing officer and deputy executive general manager for ASEAN, Indonesia has had strong ties with the brand and have a long history as well. At the time of writing, Suzuki Indonesia produces the APV, Ertiga, and the new Carry. They also build the K-15b engine there as well, which also powers both the Ertiga and the Jimny.
This, however, is not the first time Suzuki Indonesia will be producing Jimnys. In fact, they have quite a lot of experience building them. Suzuki Indonesia has been rolling out Jimnys from their factories since the late 1970's, as far back as the first generation model. Only the previous-generation Jimny was not assembled there. With that much history, it perhaps explains the decision to also make them in the Emerald of the Equator.
This now begs the question: will the next batch of Jimnys destined for the Philippines be made in Indonesia? Or will we continue to source them from Japan? Historically, we have been getting our Jimnys in Japan, so it is possible that we will still continue to do so in the future.
However, the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) could make the Indonesian Jimny more appealing to bring into the Philippines and our neighboring countries. This is because AFTA essentially eases import and export tariffs on goods traded within the ASEAN region. For further reading, we previously ran a story about AFTA, explaining how it works, and how we can benefit from it.
Should we be getting the Indonesia-built versions, the AFTA agreement should lower prices of the SUV once it lands here due to less tariffs. Ultimately, whether we'll be sourcing our Jimnys from Indonesia or Japan, that "decision" remains in Suzuki PH's hands.