Forget a global downturn - luxury car showrooms in the Indonesian capital say they're on a roll. Masako Iijima reports.
Never mind the traffic gridlocks and bumpy roads -- Indonesia's middle class is on the rise and looking for status. And that's driving a boom in sales of luxury cars in capital, Jakarta. There's a six-month wait for Lamborghinis with price tags up to 1.2 million dollars. On a slightly lower rung of the luxury ladder, BMW says it's seen huge growth in sales. SOUNDBITE: HELENA ABIDIN, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, BMW INDONESIA, SAYING (English): "Up to May 2012 we experienced 40 per cent growth which (has) now reached 861 units. We are very confident in the sales volume this year, basically because the economy, the growth seems to be very potential here." Sales of cars with powerful engines above three litres doubled in May. There's little chance of putting an engine that size through its paces in the congested capital. But Indonesia's luxury car buyers have their own specific aims. Coal company boss Zainudin is paying 300, 000 dollars for a Rolls Royce to add to his car collection which already includes Jeeps, a Land Rover and a Bentley. SOUNDBITE: ZAINUDIN, BUYER, SAYING (Bahasa Indonesia): "This car is for my family. My priorities are safety, comfort, a quality engine and of course better performance." Others, like lawyer Parlin Sinaga, are looking for a status symbol. SOUNDBITE: PARLIN SINAGA, BUYER, SAYING (Bahasa Indonesia): "I think you can get comfort in every luxury car. That's not what I'm looking for. I want to buy this car for prestige." Record sales last year have prompted some manufacturers, including BMW and General Motors, to invest in manufacturing in Indonesia one of the developing nations seen as an engine of growth. Masako Iijima, Reuters